Apr 12, 2011

SkyTrain workers ratify three-year deal

BURNABY—Members of CUPE 7000, SkyTrain workers, have ratified a three-year agreement with the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).

The agreement includes improvements to language such as shift differentials; a comparator wage adjustment of three per cent with a one-half per cent lift for trades in the first year; wage increases in years two and three will match those of other transit workers under Translink who are currently in negotiations; and the creation of a joint committee to examine and recommend a pension plan for CUPE 7000 members.

“Our members want to move towards a defined benefit plan that allows people to retire with a sense of security,” says CUPE 7000 vice-president and member of the bargaining committee Bill Magri. “Now we’ll have a process to follow and if we can’t reach agreement at the end of the day, it goes to binding arbitration.”

The joint employer/union task force will review the existing defined contribution plan as well as defined benefit plans like the Public Service Pension Plan and the Municipal Pension Plan. The task force is expected to make recommendations by fall 2012. If the employer and union reach an agreement, CUPE 7000 members will hold a ratification vote on the new plan. If no agreement can be reached, the issue will go to binding arbitration.

The British Columbia Rapid Transit Company Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Translink. The BCRTC operates SkyTrain’s Millennium and Expo Lines.

CUPE 7000 represents 530 members at SkyTrain including attendants, control room operators, administrative staff and technical and trades workers who maintain trains, tracks and stations.

COPE 491