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City workers net 6.5% pay hike in three-year deal

City of Brandon bureaucrats will receive a 6.5 per cent pay hike over the next three years.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents all city workers except for managers, emergency personnel and bus drivers, settled the three-year contract with the city earlier this month.

Those employees will receive a 2.5 per cent bump this year, and two percent in 2015 and 2016.

According to Glenda Smith, a Brandon-based CUPE representative, the union went into the four-day negotiations looking for a nine per cent hike over three years for its members.

"We were quite content to take back the offer," Smith said. "Of course, we’d like to see more but it’s pretty decent in today’s municipal sector."

Also included in the settlement was an increased allowance for safety boots and a new salary tier for the city’s IT workers to help combat the private companies from siphoning talent from the public sector.

Within the new contract was language changes for sick time, which put a firm line between personal and family sick leave. City manager Scott Hildebrand said the change had little to do with sick time abuse the city has reeled from.

"A lot of our contracts already have that distinction and there hasn’t ... and doesn’t have a lot to do with the bigger issue of sick time because we’re in a really good spot right now with sick time," he said.

The contract report, completed by the city’s personnel committee, will be presented to council tonight.

CUPE represents the largest number of city employees. With this latest settlement, all contracts have been completed except for firefighters.

"We’ve been successfully able to negotiate every contract in the city ... but for whatever reason, we haven’t been able to negotiate with the fire union," he said.

The union representing the city’s firefighters have been working on a new collective agreement since the end of 2011. Arbitration is set for April and Hildebrand suspects it’ll be another three months after that before it's resolved.

"That will be an interesting arbitration," Hildebrand said.

Meanwhile, after arbitration in February, it was ruled that the emergency dispatch members in the Brandon Professional Firefighters’/Paramedics’ Association will receive three annual increases of 3.4 per cent for 2012–14 and will also get an additional five per cent next year. That adds up to 15.2 per cent over the four years, but compounded it is slightly more than a 16 per cent raise.

Following the city’s budget deliberations at the beginning of the year, council approved to cut $200,000 associated with staffing costs.

The city’s budget will be set in stone next month.

» gbruce@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @grjbruce

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 17, 2014

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City of Brandon bureaucrats will receive a 6.5 per cent pay hike over the next three years.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents all city workers except for managers, emergency personnel and bus drivers, settled the three-year contract with the city earlier this month.

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City of Brandon bureaucrats will receive a 6.5 per cent pay hike over the next three years.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents all city workers except for managers, emergency personnel and bus drivers, settled the three-year contract with the city earlier this month.

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