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Squamish, CUPE strike deal

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After months of uncertainty, as well as a few public laments in the press, CUPE Local 2269 and the District of Squamish have reached a tentative collective agreement.

"I am very pleased that we have ratified a new collective agreement with our local CUPE union," said Mayor Greg Gardner in a press release issued last Friday. "We have worked very hard over the past 14 months to reach a negotiated settlement that both parties feel is fair. We look forward to continuing to provide the citizens of Squamish with uninterrupted programs and services."

The agreement runs from Jan. 1, 2008, through to Dec. 31, 2011.

A press bulletin posted on CUPE's website called the agreement "tentative."

"We're glad to be done," said Jodie Harrison, president of CUPE, in that bulletin. "This has been a long road and we're looking forward to moving ahead and continuing to provide great services to Squamish residents."

The new agreement guarantees raises over the four years, beginning at 2.25 per cent and building to four per cent. Benefits will also be improved, and workers with water or wastewater tickets recognized by the province will see pay increase. Those waste management workers involved in "dirty" work will see additional compensation. When workers see something wrong on the job, they'll be able to use improved whistle-blower provisions to draw attention to it.

There are 150 local workers in the union. They do everything from snow removal to court record management.

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