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CUPE Local 2038 signs retroactive contract agreement

Posted on November 2, 2023 by Taber Times

By Heather Cameron
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Recently, the Town of Taber and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2038 signed an agreement for 2021-2023 which sees retroactive pay increases of three per cent for 2022 and 3.5 per cent for 2023.

Dan Pierson, President of CUPE Local 2038, stated that negotiations started back in March 2023 and the union talked to the Town and the rep was ready to negotiate starting in March 2022. The union, Pierson said, actually started meeting with the Town in October, but the representative for CUPE was also occupied with other negotiations and other jobs, and the CUPE Union was only able to meet once a month. As a result, Pierson said, the resolution didn’t get done until 2023.

Ultimately, Pierson said, the Town of Taber gave them a huge document to go over that was 168 pages, which took a long time to review. 

“We did actually end up agreeing in May,” Pierson said. “The Taber Town Council approved it on June 12, 2023, and the union had it written up and we got it signed and everything two weeks ago.”

Derrin Thibault, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Taber, stated that the contract included the following benefits for CUPE: $125 Health & Wellness account added for each permanent employee; 1.5X OT rate moved up to 2X; Truth and Reconciliation Statutory holiday added; the ability to adjust hours seasonally for working groups; a three per cent pay increase for 2022, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022; a 3.5 per cent pay increase for 2023, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023; a very large amount of language/wording and punctuation updated throughout; and gender neutral terminology updated throughout.

“Getting to the point of signing took longer than both parties envisioned but we got there collectively,” Thibault said. “The Town’s perspective is that the outcome was fair and reasonable given the Town’s financial constraints.”

 Pierson agrees that the outcome was fair.

“We didn’t get everything we wanted, and we would have liked to have been paid more,” Pierson said. “We didn’t get paid what inflation is at right now, but I don’t know that we could have expected that. I think it was fair. It wasn’t wonderful. I wasn’t overly excited about it, but I didn’t think it was unfair either. I thought it was pretty decent.”

Since the contract only extends until 2024, Pierson says, CUPE has already set up a new negotiating committee and negotiations for the next contract will open soon.

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