NEW WESTMINSTER – CUPE 387 members, city and library workers as well as civilian employees at the New Westminster Police Department, have voted 96 percent in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement, avoiding a possible strike.
The agreement was reached after nearly a year of negotiations. CUPE members ratified the agreement at a meeting last month and New Westminster City Council, the New Westminster Police Board, and the New Westminster Public Library Board all recently ratified the agreement as well.
“This agreement provides critical wage adjustments that help ease the impacts of inflation and the high cost of living, and new measures to address longs-standing recruitment and retention challenges,” said CUPE 387 President Hardeep Maghera.
The three-year deal provides wage increases of 3 percent in 2022, 4.5 percent in 2023 and 4 percent in 2024. It also includes a one-time inflationary support payment and an additional one-time retention payment.
“The services our community relies on cannot be delivered if the necessary positions in our city, library and police department are vacant, and cannot be filled. Ensuring fair pay and a positive work environment is important to both workers, and the residents they serve,” said Maghera.
Other key improvements include better security for auxiliary employees as well as improvements to mental health benefits that provide workers with increased access to a wider range of service providers.
“CUPE 387 members are proud to provide quality public services to New Westminster and we look forward to continuing to work with the City, Library and Police Board to deliver those services to residents, businesses and visitors,” adds Maghera.
CUPE 387 represents approximately 825 workers who provide a wide range of services including road maintenance, sewer and water services, garbage collection, recreation services, library services, public safety services as well as administrative services such as accounting and payroll.