Strathcona Gardens employees, regional district come to terms on new agreement

Strathcona Gardens employees will be getting a wage increase in each of the next five years

Employees at Strathcona Gardens will see a wage increase every year for five years, based on a new collective agreement with the Strathcona Regional District.

The five year agreement, which contains a two per cent wage increase each year, was signed recently by the regional district and the United Steel Workers Union which represents Strathcona Gardens employees.

The agreement was reached after a few months of negotiations and provides improvements to benefits, vacation scheduling practices and a revised sick leave plan and grievance process.

“The new contract provides modest improvements to health benefits and also clarification around sick leave and short term disability benefits,” said Yves Bienvenu, facilities manager of Strathcona Gardens.

Rick Wangler, first vice-president of Union Steel Workers Local 1-1937, said the agreement covers approximately 75 full time and part time unionized employees.

He said in addition to the two per cent wage increase, the agreement also includes “some specific job wage rate adjustments and adjustments to other premiums such as clothing and footwear allowance.”

Wangler said the union is satisfied with the new contract, which addresses concerns the union had about leaves of absence.

“The main issues of concern that were dealt with were around sick time and short and long term disability which were resolved to the parties’ satisfaction,” Wangler said.

The regional district expressed the same sentiments.

“Major concerns of both parties were addressed and are expected to bring long-term stability to the bargaining unit.”