POWELL RIVER - Public library workers have a new contract. CUPE Local 798 and the Powell River Public Library Board have both now ratified a new five-year collective agreement.
The no-concessions deal, retroactive to January 1, 2013, includes a wage increase of 5% for this year, 2% next year and 1.75% in 2017. The contract also features improvements to benefits for auxiliary staff, and better vacation and leave language as well as improved occupational health and safety provisions.
The agreement was reached after only four bargaining sessions. CUPE Local 798 President Danielle Craigen credits a cooperative and respectful attitude on both sides of the table for the quick resolution.
“It makes such a difference when both parties negotiate maturely and respectively. In this case, we both had priorities and issues that we wanted to negotiate and that we did negotiate,” explains Craigen, adding that “when we work together like this the results benefit everybody – especially the community.”
Craigen says the conclusion of bargaining means her members can now focus on serving the public and on developments like the new Powell River library slated to open next year.