by Kelly Whiteside
After five weeks of being locked out of their jobs, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 401 in Qualicum Beach will return to work.
On Tuesday it seemed that an agreement was far-sighted. The union filed a bad faith bargaining complaint to the Labour Relations Board after the town said they would agree to a two per cent wage increase if the union would agree to the exclusion of the IT Coordinator position. The Labour Relations Board then sent the town a letter stating the exclusion of a position was not part of the mediated deal he delivered.
Late Wednesday night the town and the union finally reached a new collective agreement. The new contract contains the two per cent per year wage increase that was insisted on since bargaining began. Upon reaching an agreement, the town accepted that the demand for an excluded position was not part of contract negotiations, and that will be dealt with through the Labour Relations Board if they wish to proceed with it.
The agreement was reached hours before the Labour Relations Board hearing regarding the bad faith bargaining complaint was set to begin. The hearing was canceled.
Qualicum Beach’s unionized employees will return to work on Friday, September 4.