VANCOUVER – CUPE Local 7000 SkyTrain workers have reached a tentative agreement with the BC Rapid Transit Company. The new contract must still be ratified by both parties.
The tentative deal was reached Wednesday during non-binding mediation at the BC Labour Relations Board. The two sides were at the bargaining table for eight months before talks stalled in late February. Two weeks ago the union voted 95-per-cent in favor of a strike mandate if mediation failed.
The tentative three-year, no-concessions contract includes wage increases of two per cent in each of the first two years and a 1.75-per-cent wage hike in the final year. The contract also includes improvements to maternity benefits and the employees’ extended health plan. Employer proposed changes to retirement benefits and the employee sick plan were dropped.
“Mediation got the talks back on track,” says CUPE 7000 bargaining team spokesperson Annaliese Hunt, adding “now we have what the bargaining committee feels is a realistic and fair agreement to take back to our members for a ratification vote.”
CUPE Local 7000 represents 537 active SkyTrain operators, attendants, trades, maintenance workers, office staff and dispatchers. The workers operate the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines.