City of Dryden and union agree to terms

DRYDEN – The City of Dryden and its workers’ union have a new collective bargaining agreement that both sides like.

Negotiators for the city and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1730 reached terms for a four-year contract effective Jan. 1, 2024, and the union local’s members have ratified the contract. The agreement has annual wage raises of six, four, three and three per cent.

“We think it’s a fair and equitable settlement for a four-year term,” Mayor Jack Harrison said this week.

The city is challenged to remain competitive with large employers on pay and benefits, he said, adding that the contract fulfills that need.

“We think this will be a really good step forward for the city and employees,” he said.

Without the work of skilled and dedicated city employees, Harrison said, “we can’t maintain the services that our citizens expect.”

IBEW Local 1730’s president and business manager, Shawna Charbonneau, described the four-year agreement as “a really good contract.”

“The city was willing to work with us to achieve a deal,” she said.

The city has about 75 IBEW members in various positions throughout its workforce.

Their collective bargaining agreement expired on Dec. 31. Bargaining began about a week later and a tentative agreement was reached on Jan. 10. Union members voted to accept the agreement in February.

A summary presented to Dryden council stated that the new contract’s costs fit with the city’s operating budget.

Mike Stimpson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source