Town of Paradise and NAPE reach deal, town facilities to open on Monday
Employees to get wage increase, signing bonus
Town of Paradise facilities are set to open again on Monday at noon, following a deal struck between the town and its workers' union on Friday.
After being locked out on Monday, the workers accepted a deal on Friday to compensate them comparably to neighbouring towns.
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A deal was struck that will see employees get a 12 per cent raise over the next three-and-a-half years, along with a $200 signing bonus and a parity review of all positions in the bargaining unit.
"They are going to be compared to comparable adjacent communities," said Jerry Earle, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE). "That would be Mount Pearl, CBS and Portugal Cove-St. Phillip's."
During the work dispute, in the heat of the moment, some things might happen.- Jerry Earle, NAPE president
NAPE's original offer was for 10 per cent over three years. While that deal was declined by the Town of Paradise, the union was able to get another two per cent by tacking an extra six months onto the contract.
The extra term isn't a concern, said Earle, since their old contract was four years in length.
"We've actually shortened up the term and accomplished what was necessary to reach a successful agreement," he said.
After a deal was reached at 3 p.m., union officials took it to the membership at 4 p.m., where it was approved with a unanimous vote.
Elizabeth Laurie, deputy mayor of Paradise, said the deal will not result in any changes to the town's budget projections and will not change the residential mil rate in 2018.
"We are pleased a negotiated settlement could be reached, one that is fair to our employees and one that can be accommodated within existing budget allocations," she wrote in a release on Friday evening.
Town employees are asked to head to the arena in Paradise Double Ice Complex on Monday morning at 9 a.m., where they will meet with officials and set aside any differences.
"During the work dispute, in the heat of the moment, some things might happen. So we're going to sit down and talk about that."
Essential services such as water testing and garbage collection had continued during the lockout, but others such as recycling and recreational facilities have stopped operating.
All programs and services will continue at noon on Monday.
"We thank the residents of Paradise for their patience during this past week and we look forward to resuming full operations on Monday," Laurie said.
Earle praised Laurie for her work throughout the bargaining process, since Mayor Dan Bobbett excused himself due to a conflict. Bobbett, a biomedical engineering technician, is a NAPE member.
"(Bobbett) acknowledged it. He stepped away from this, he wasn't directly involved in the bargaining," Earle said.
"Many municipalities across Newfoundland and Labrador have NAPE members on them ... We actually encourage our NAPE members to be proactive and get involved."