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City of Courtenay employees sign for four years

The City of Courtenay and the union representing 80 of its employees have reached a four-year agreement.
CUPE announced Wednesday that CUPE municipal workers and the City of Courtenay have ratified a new collective agreement.
The 80 members of CUPE Local 556 have approved a four-year package that includes wage increases of two per cent, two per cent, 2.75 per cent and 2.25 per cent respectively and improvements to the fair distribution of work, according to a press release.
The city ratified the agreement at a special city council meeting Tuesday night.
"The City feels that the agreement is fair to employees, considering the current economic climate, length of the agreement, and relative to other public-sector collective agreements," Tillie Manthey, acting administrator and director of financial services for the city, said in the release. "On balance, the four-year agreement ensures continuity of service to our citizens for an extended period of time within the city's current budget."
CUPE 556 spokesperson Lisa McPherson credited both sides saying, "We worked hard to achieve a fair collective agreement, and we are optimistic that the city and the union can now build on our working relationship and move forward from here."
The new contract runs until Dec. 31, 2014.
The city workers of Courtenay voted 92 per cent to strike "for fairness and respect on the job" in April.
The union and the city had reached a tentative agreement earlier in April through mediation, but they had to go back to the bargaining table.
Last week, CUPE Local 556 reached a tentative collective agreement with the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD). The agreement must still be ratified by 70 members of CUPE 556 and the CVRD board.

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