Town of Ponoka and IBEW union reach new contract agreement

Two-year agreement includes one-per-cent increase

The Town of Ponoka and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 254 have a new two-year collective agreement.

In recognition of the current economic climate, the agreement includes a wage freeze in 2017 with a zero-per-cent wage increase for all IBEW Local 254 employees, and a one-per-cent increase in 2018.

If the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Edmonton region exceeds 1.25 per cent in 2017, that additional amount will be added to the one-per-cent wage increase in 2018. For example, if the 2017 CPI is 1.75 per cent, the 2018 wage increase will be 1.5 per cent.

The newly ratified agreement includes a flexible work arrangement that will see employees work 8.5 hours Monday to Thursday and eight hours on Friday, all at straight time pay, with a 30-minute unpaid lunch break and every fourth Friday taken as unpaid time off. Designated days off will be scheduled to minimize the number of employees taking time off at one time. The flexible work arrangement is a one-year pilot project that will be reviewed in 2018.

“The negotiations were very amicable and positive. The IBEW Local 254 was willing to work together with the Town to arrive at an agreement that we feel suitably reflects Alberta’s economic reality,” Mayor Rick Bonnett said in a release on Friday.

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