After almost a year of negotiations, CUPE Local 358 and the Municipality of North Cowichan reached a tentative agreement on Nov. 22, with the assistance of a mediator appointed by the BC Labour Relations Board.
The union is recommending the agreement be accepted by the membership and a ratification meeting has been scheduled for Nov 29.
Further details will be released following the ratification vote.
The agreement covers 175 full-time, part-time and casual workers who provide community services in North Cowichan.
Negotiations between CUPE Local 358 workers in the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the City of Duncan are ongoing and union representative Ian McLean said he’s “hopeful” that those talks will successfully come to a conclusion soon as well.
“We’re meeting with representatives from the CVRD on Nov. 27 with a mediator and we’re hoping for a good dialogue,” he said.
“We’re also applying for a mediator to help us work with the City of Duncan as well. We’re not interested in disrupting services. We just want a fair deal for both the workers and the employers.”
McLean said early in November that one sticking point at all three negotiating tables was the government’s announcement of a reduction for Medical Services Plan premiums starting in 2018, which means employers will have a significant cost savings.
McLean said the union believes that money should continue to be dedicated to employees’ benefits.
CUPE Local 358 has a total of six units and represents approximately 400 local government and private sector workers in the Cowichan Valley.