Kimberley, a city located in southeast British Columbia, has recently gained attention for its collective agreement negotiations. A collective agreement is a legally binding agreement between an employer and a union representing its employees that outlines the terms and conditions of employment. In Kimberley’s case, the city’s employees are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2090.
The current collective agreement between the City of Kimberley and CUPE Local 2090 expired on December 31, 2020. Negotiations for a new agreement have been ongoing since August 2020, with multiple bargaining sessions and mediation attempts taking place. However, as of February 2021, the two sides have yet to reach a new agreement.
One of the main issues in the negotiations is wage increases. According to a press release from CUPE Local 2090, the city has offered wage increases of 0% for 2021, 1% for 2022, and 1.5% for 2023. The union is seeking wage increases of 2.5% for each year of the agreement. The union has also expressed concern about the city’s proposal to remove a “me too” clause from the agreement, which ensures that CUPE Local 2090 members receive the same wage increases as other city employees.
Another issue in the negotiations is job security. The city has proposed eliminating a job security clause from the agreement, which would allow the city to lay off employees without regard to seniority. The union has stated that this proposal would negatively impact job security for its members.
The negotiations have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the city citing financial challenges caused by the pandemic as a reason for its wage increase proposal. The union has argued that CUPE Local 2090 members have continued to provide essential services throughout the pandemic and deserve fair compensation.
The City of Kimberley and CUPE Local 2090 are set to meet with a mediator on March 3, 2021, in an effort to reach a new collective agreement. If an agreement is not reached, the union has stated that job action may be taken.
In conclusion, the collective agreement negotiations between the City of Kimberley and CUPE Local 2090 highlight the importance of fair compensation and job security for employees. The outcome of these negotiations will not only impact the city’s employees but also the services that residents rely on. As the pandemic continues to affect finances and workforce dynamics, it is critical that employers and unions work together to reach mutually beneficial agreements that prioritize the well-being of employees and communities.