The official ratification of the agreement comes after a provisional agreement was reached at the last minute, on December 10 at around 5:00 a.m., avoiding a total closure of a few minutes. After the union representing SkyTrain`s 900 employees reached an agreement earlier this month with bc Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC), ratification of the new agreement was reached after four days of electronic voting. The deal comes after Metro Vancouver Bus, SeaBus and maintenance workers also ratified a collective agreement with their employer Coast Mountain Bus Company to avoid a full three-day shutdown. A three-day strike by SkyTrain workers has been averted thanks to a new tentative agreement reached this morning after a marathon session between CUPE 7000 and the BC Rapid Transit Company (SkyTrain). BURNABY, BC, Dec. 22, 2019 /CNW/ – CUPE 7,000 members have ratified the union`s preliminary agreement with the BC Rapid Transit Company (SkyTrain). The agreement was reached at the end of a night negotiation and mediation meeting on 10 December, with the total closure of the Expo and Millennium lines having been only a few minutes. The parties had been in collective bargaining since the last contract expired last August. Among the approximately 900 SkyTrain agents represented by CUPE 7000 are screening, maintenance, administration and technician officers. The SkyTrain workers` union negotiated until the planned closure of the Millennium and Expo lines, and its employer, BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC). The parties reached a provisional agreement shortly before 5.m. The new four-year agreement, retroactive to September 1, 2019, contains several improvements aimed at improving accessibility and pay equity in the various professions represented by SkyTrain employees.
The contract provides for a general wage increase of 3 percent per year. “Both sides worked throughout the weekend, Monday and Tuesday morning to reach this agreement,” Rebelo said of the new deal reached shortly before 5.m, as a complete closure of the Expo and Millennium lines was due to begin. Instead, normal service will resume shortly. “We could not have reached this agreement without the commitment of the members of the Committee, whose determination has remained firm in difficult circumstances.” The Dec. 10 agreement followed another angry strike vote by Metro Vancouver bus drivers and maintenance workers. This strike was also averted at the eleventh hour, when the bus and coach workers` union and the employer agreed on a contract in the early morning hours of 27 November. “It is now up to members to ratify this agreement, which I strongly recommend.” “We would not have achieved this without the help of Mediator Grant McArthur, so we thank him for his patience and wisdom during these discussions,” said Rebelo. “I would also like to thank my local bargaining committee and CUPE National staff for their efforts. It is now up to members to ratify this agreement, which I strongly recommend. Details of the preliminary agreement will not be released until both sides ratify it, but CUPE 7000 president Tony Rebelo said the eleven-hour deal has gone a long way in addressing many of the union`s concerns in this latest round of bargaining.
. . .