A work-to-rule campaign by bus drivers took place before the union and city reach a new labour deal. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

Yukon Employees Union members ratify city contract

The deal — which must still be approved by council — offers a raise of 4.25 per cent over 4 years

City workers voted over the weekend to ratify a new collective agreement with the City of Whitehorse.

Transit workers and city staff, including water and waste, operations, finance, bylaw, and parks and recreation, accepted the tentative deal.

The deal was originally arrived at on April 16, hours before an 8 a.m. strike deadline that had been set by locals Y022 (transit) and Y023 (city employees).

The agreement came after months of bargaining between the city and the Yukon Employees Union.

The locals filed for conciliation with the city in October 2017.

In the months following, YEU president Steve Geick said bargaining failed to resolve issues around wages and working conditions, particularly where severance and employees’ long service bonuses were concerned.

Beginning in March, transit workers were engaged in a work-to-rule strike. During that time, there were frequent bus delays as drivers turned down overtime.

City workers were preparing to strike alongside transit employees in April when a mediator was able to meet with both sides during weekend talks earlier this month.

An agreement was reached at 5 a.m. at the end of that weekend.

That new agreement includes a pay increase of 4.25 per cent over the four-year contract.

It also preserves the long service bonus, though YEU president Steve Geick said that now kicks in after seven years instead of five.

The contracts for local Y022 and Y023 will need to be approved by mayor and council before they come into effect.

City manager Linda Rapp said the city is hoping to bring a report to council on April 30 so council can approve the ratification package.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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