Further reflections on city labour settlement

Both sides should be happy with deal, Kimberley Mayor says

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick

As reported in the Bulletin last Friday, the City of Kimberley and Steelworkers Local 1-405 have reached an agreement and a four-year collective agreement was ratified last week by members.

Mayor Don McCormick says it was a good deal and both sides should be happy.

“With respect to the final terms, there is reason for both sides to feel good,” he said.

The final deal includes the special vacation benefit being grandfathered for all current employees but will not be offered to new employees. There will be a six per cent wage increase over the four year term and some improvement to benefits.

One of the more contentious points was the Job Evaluation System, which will be eliminated.

“The new agreement is to put a committee together, with representation from both city and union, and come up with a new approach to evaluating jobs,” McCormick said.

The main feeling, now that everything is settled, is relief, the Mayor says.

“It is a relief. I think first and foremost for the workers. They hung in there on their jobs through a lot of uncertainty this summer.”

McCormick also says it will be a relief for those who use city facilities.

“Take the Dynamiters for example. They did have contingency plans but they were very worried about their ability to begin their season. Council is very pleased a settlement was reached and those concerns can be put to rest.”

McCormick said the fact that Council remained in unanimous support of the negotiating team throughout was key.