Dec 08, 2009

Fraser Valley Library workers ratify agreement

ABBOTSFORD — Members of CUPE 1698 ratified a three-year collective agreement with the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Sunday, December 6.

The contract includes 3 per cent in each of three contract years, with the first increase retroactive to January 1, 2009. Significant improvements include an increase in shift premium for people working after 5PM, introduction of a First Aid premium, and increased flexibility around vacation scheduling. Employees who manage a branch while the supervisor is away will also receive an increased premium.

CUPE 1698 president Laurie Dyck says, “Because our union and library management have developed a good working relationship, we reached this agreement in an unprecedented five meetings.”

The tentative agreement was reached on December 3, shortly after both parties agreed to implement a new gender-neutral job evaluation plan. This new plan results in 80 per cent of workers receiving an increase. CUPE 1698 and Fraser Valley Regional Library management have been working on this plan since the last contract. The gender-neutral job evaluation proposal will be implemented in three equal phases over the next three years.

“I’d like to thank everyone on the committee for their hard work,” says Dyck. “This really speaks to the power of working together.” A committee of four CUPE 1698 members and four representatives from library management rated all positions in the library using an agreed-upon point system.

The Fraser Valley Regional Library extends from White Rock to Boston Bar in 24 branches plus the administrative centre. CUPE 1698’s members serve 14 municipalities in the second-largest library system in B.C.

COPE 491