Two-year agreement offers modest wage increase
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
Amherst’s renovation of the Dominion Public Building for use as town hall cost $230,000 more than the $709,000 originally budgeted for the project.
AMHERST – Just four months after contract negotiations between the Town of Amherst and 29 public works and recreation employees, an agreement has been reached.
The town called a special meeting Friday, July 12, to address the new contract, as well as a contract with the Amherst Jr. A Ramblers, and a handful of funding requests from local groups and organizations.
The new, two-year contract with CUPE Local 1233 contained minor changes to the language as well wage increases of 3.5 per cent in the first year and 3 per cent in the second.
Matthew Gould, president for Local 1233, said it felt good to reach an agreement and Mayor Robert Small called the quick resolution a testament to the professionalism of everyone at the table.
“One of the objectives of town staff is to have good negotiations and I think there’s been a good interaction between the union and the town with solving issues,” Small said. “It’s just one example how you can look across the table and come to an agreement without all the other foolishness that can go on.”
“It’s just one example how you can look across the table and come to an agreement without all the other foolishness that can go on.” Amherst Mayor Robert Small
The town was preparing for a positive outcome from the contract negotiations when it set it’s 2013-2014 capital budget, earmarking $42,000 to go towards the employees wage increases. While the actual increase this year will require $49,000, the difference can be accommodated in the 2013-operating budget.
The town also agreed to the terms for the upcoming hockey season with the Amherst Jr. A. Ramblers during Friday’s meeting.
The agreement clarifies the responsibilities of the town and the Ramblers for the next hockey season and is a one-year contract. The Ramblers will be billed a flat rate of $13,724 plus taxes for the season, which covers 26 regular season games and two practices per week. If the Ramblers move in to the playoffs, a rate of $633 plus taxes will be applied per game at the Amherst Stadium.
The agreement will take effect August 1.