City council ratified a new collective agreement that includes more than a 10 per cent wage increase over three years for the municipality’s electrical workers.
The 32 employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 254 have been without a contract since March 4, 2010, and voted in favour of strike action earlier this month.
The agreement approved by council at a special meeting on Wednesday night outlines annual wage adjustments of three per cent in 2010, three per cent in 2011, three per cent in 2012 and 1.5 per cent in January of 2013. Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the annual three per cent raise will cost the city $60,000 annually.
“I think it’s very sustainable from a cost of operation being born by the utility and secondly by the cost of retaining people,” he said.
Carter Woloszyn, assistant business manager with the union at the Stony Plain office, said the new agreement is acceptable as the city wage is more comparable to what other electrical workers are receiving.
Only Councillor Chris Stephan voted against the agreement.
“Based on the fact that the city itself is not a for-profit enterprise, I don’t think the comparisons with what’s happening in private enterprise should be all that relevant,” he said.
The workers plan, build, operate and maintain electrical transmission and distribution for Red Deer homes and businesses.
The new agreement runs until March 3, 2013.