Unionized municipal workers voted late Thursday on a new contract proposal, though the details of the deal or the outcome of the vote are likely not known until Monday. Mayor Ted Clugston said the agreement between the city and the union came quickly. Four of the city`s five collective agreements with employees out of a total of 1,100 employees have expired. A surprising union agreement involving a two-year wage freeze could set the standard for tough financial times, city councillors said Monday night. The contract with about 700 workers from the inside, outside and transit is the largest in the city and the first agreement reached in a new general round of negotiations. Contracts with line judges and power plant workers, as well as firefighters, are expiring and the pact with the Medicine Hat Police Association expires at the end of 2020. These contracts included a salary freeze for 2017, a strategy released a year earlier by directors in the “Financially Fit” budget plan. There was no direct message about wage control in the city`s current budget, but the plan still calls for controlling inflationary and wage pressures, while staggered tax hikes reverse a revenue shortfall linked to revenue due to low gas prices. The collective agreement between CUPE Local 46 and the City of Medicine Hat will run from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022.
MEDICINE HAT – The union that represents hundreds of city employees and the City of Medicine Hat have ratified a new collective agreement. “(The salary component) is timely and shows the good faith and good relationship that the city (management) has with CUPE.” The city hall`s collective agreement with the Medicine Hat Police Association expires at the end of 2020. These negotiations lasted more than two years before the parties agreed on a wage change of zero percent in 2017, but to nearly 8 percent cumulative increases over the past three years. Mayor Ted Clugston said staff are key to how the city operates and there is a need to streamline the budget. It replaces the previous agreement, which expired at the end of 2019 and also provided for a wage freeze in the first year of 2017 and then increases in subsequent years. As a rule, negotiated agreements, which consist of a union membership vote, are then processed by elected officials at the next municipal council meeting. If both sides ratify the agreement, an overview of the pact will be given. Around 700 employees are affected by the new agreement. “We have a contract that will help us keep the tax line,” he said, adding that the agreement sets a standard that the city should maintain in discussions with other unions. This three-year contract, which provides for a wage freeze in 2017 – a significant point in the city`s budget – then increases by 2% over the next two years. .