City of Fort St. John ratifies contract settlement with BCGEU

City workers will not be striking after ratifying a contract settlement on Monday.

Talks began in March, after city employees were without a contract since January 1st, 2009. In June, City Staff voted 92 per cent in favor of a vote, should a deal not be reached.

A Labour Relations board mediator managed to reach an agreement in mid-July. Spokesperson with the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union Stephan Howard takes it from there…

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Howard says City Staff were primarily concerned about wage increases and benefits.

Now, the roughly 140 municipal employees who work for the City of Fort St. John now have a three-year collective agreement, that provides wage increases and benefit improvements.

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The agreement will expire Dec. 31, 2011. Howard says after that date, the BCGEU will begin the process again of renegotiating.

Fort St. John municipal workers covered by the agreement include the following jobs: clerical, public works, pool attendants, labourers, equipment operators, prisoner guards, watch clerks, water treatment operators, building inspectors, bylaw enforcement staff, and visitor information services.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bruce Lantz says the City feels the agreement recognizes the commitment and dedication of all staff, in providing the public the best services possible within the fiscal realities of the budget.

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