Rapid transit workers accept new contracts

Workers who run the SkyTrain system have now ratified a new three-year contract reached last month.  - File
Workers who run the SkyTrain system have now ratified a new three-year contract reached last month.
— image credit: File

Unionized SkyTrain workers have ratified a new three-year contract that ensures labour peace on the Expo and Millennium Lines.

The deal with TransLink's SkyTrain subsidiary gives the roughly 530 members of CUPE local 7000 a three per cent pay hike in the first year, retroactive to last September. Trades workers get an extra half point.

Wage increases in the second and third years will be tied to whatever settlement is reached with bus drivers and maintenance workers at Coast Mountain Bus Co., where bargaining has just begun.

"If Coast Mountain Bus is able to negotiate a raise, we would be able to get that as well," union local president Bill Magri said.

The three-per-cent lift in the first year also mirrors the final year of the old Coast Mountain contract.

Magri said the deal avoids any contract concessions and creates a process to potentially establish a defined benefit pension plan.

The SkyTrain employees include attendants, control room operators, administrative staff and other workers who maintain trains, tracks and stations.

Canada Line workers represented by the BCGEU have also ratified a three-year first contract with operator ProTransBC.

Wage details aren't being disclosed.

Both unions had taken strike votes although neither had taken the threat to the stage of issuing 72-hour strike notice.

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