CUPE 7000, the union representing approximately 900 Expo and Millennium Line SkyTrain employees, officially ratified a new contract Sunday evening.
The official ratification of the agreement comes after a last-minute tentative agreement was reached around 5:00 am on December 10th, avoiding a full service shutdown by mere minutes.
In an official statement, CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo revealed that the new contract would run for four years, retroactively beginning from September 1st, 2019. (The previous contract ended on August 31st, 2019.)
A major issue at the center of the labour dispute was “affordability and wage fairness”, and Rebelo announced that the new contract includes a general annual wage increase of 3%.
No other numbers have been provided, but a look into the previous contract between CUPE 7000 and TransLink SkyTrain employees gives us more insight.
According to wage scales included in that contract, base wages when the contract began on September 1st, 2016 ranged from $23.77 to $46.55.
Office workers, such as Switchboard Operators and Data Entry Clerks were on the lower end of that range, while Technicians and Control Operators were on the higher end. SkyTrain Attendant wages began at $31.47 in 2016 and increased to $33.03 by the end of the contract.
For SkyTrain Attendants, the 3% wage increase agreed upon in the new contract would translate into a wage increase from $33.03 to $34.02 next September, $35.04 in September 2021, $36.09 in 2022, and $37.17 in 2023.
“Our members have struggled with affordability partly because of wages not keeping pace with true cost of living increases”, Rebelo said in the statement. “Our hope is that in securing wage fairness for our members, we will also help other workers across the region achieve fair wages and greater financial security for their families.”
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