Town works employees accept offer after close vote

Harry Sullivan
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TRURO - Town works employees narrowly avoided taking a strike vote Thursday night but ultimately they agreed to accept an offer providing an 11 per cent wage increase over four years.
"It was very, very close to being a 'no' vote," said Jason Burke, president of CUPE Local 734, which represents approximately 50 town employees in the transportation department, parks and recreation, water treatment and environmental services.
The exact results of the vote were not available but Burke said the offer narrowly passed following a "heated discussion" regarding the distribution of overtime work among full-time and seasonal employees.
"They just didn't like what we tabled," he said of the membership, regarding the overtime proposal.
Under the old contract, which expired at the end of April, full-time workers were offered overtime work ahead of seasonal employees. Under the new deal, which still has to be ratified by town council, both groups of workers will be offered overtime hours on an equal basis as they become available.
"It's going to be a 50-50 split," Burke said, adding the full timers are going to lose some overtime hours while the seasonal workers will gain.
The proposed contract calls for a three per cent wage increase for the first two years and a 2.5 per cent increase for each of the final two years, retroactive to last May 1.
"Obviously I'm happy because I am part of the committee (that negotiated the deal with the town)," Burke said. "We figured that that's the best we could get from the town and that's what we brought forward to the committee hoping the membership would buy it."

Organizations: CUPE Local 734

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