CUPE, U of S ratify collective agreement

CUPE 1975 members have voted in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement with the University of Saskatchewan.

The union voted 97% in favour of the agreement

CUPE national representative Ann Iwanchuk speaks to Local 1975 members about contract negotiations between the union and the University of Saskatchewan (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Members of CUPE 1975, which represents support staff at the University of Saskatchewan, have voted in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement.

The vote passed with 97 per cent in favour.

The possibility of a strike arose in April when union members met with the U of S board of governors to discuss the outdated agreement.

"We are happy we have reached a fair agreement," said Craig Hannah, president of the union, in a news release.

CUPE 1975 represents non-academic workers at the University including administration, food services, technicians and library assistants.

What's in the agreement

Employees represented by the union will see wage increases for last year, this year and next year.

They will be given a 1.5 per cent increase for 2018, two per cent for 2019 and two per cent for 2020.

Union members will also receive a $4,000 signing bonus. According to the CUPE website, employees can expect their back pay and signing bonus within six to 12 weeks.

The pension plan is also changing. University contributions to the plan will be fixed at seven per cent of earnings until the end of 2020. After that it will be fixed at 7.5 per cent. Member contributions will be the same as the university contributions.

The new five-year collective agreement covers Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2020. Pension plans will take effect on Sept. 1, 2019.