Thank you to bargaining committee members Nathan Rafuse, Kristen Keating and GSU staff rep Brian Lark for serving on the committee and the work they put in to reach this agreement for Local 17 members.
On Jan. 11, 2023 members of Local 17 attended their ratification meeting to vote on the proposed memorandum of agreement that – if accepted – would form a new collective bargaining agreement. With 100 percent voter turnout, 83 percent of members voted in favour of accepting the bargained settlement.
“While some may say there was not a lot gained from this round of negotiations, we were able to protect a number of collective agreement provisions,” said union bargaining spokesperson Brian Lark. “We worked hard to protect current extended sick leave and keep the Supplemental Employment Benefit, and we were also able to make improvements to the members’ collective agreement.”
The company had looked at removing supplementary unemployment benefits (SEB) in the agreement. The union committee initially refused the removal but indicated a willingness to reduce the number of weeks an employee is eligible for SEB and the number of days required to be eligible for SEB.
With increases to the annual boot allowance from $175 to $200, there was also agreement that members would receive up to $200 for a replacement pair of boots within the year if a replacement pair is required.
Continued benefit coverage was also secured for individuals while on maternity, adoption or parental leave, provided the employee continues to pay their portion of benefits (just as they do when they are at work).
Over the term of the three-year agreement there will be guaranteed annual wage increases of 2%, 2% and 1.75% for everyone. These increases are on top of separate annual performance increases that will still be available to all members.