Salary increases part of tentative deal between province, CUPE

·2 min read

The Canadian Union of Public Employees has agreed to a tentative deal with the provincial government that includes a planned salary increase.

According to a press release issued by the provincial government Tuesday afternoon, the deal will extend seven collective agreements between the government and CUPE until March 31, 2022.

The deal affects workers in hospitals, long-term care, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, the province's treasury board, Government House and several transition houses and group homes, including licensed practical nurses, school bus drivers, custodians, maintenance workers, administration staff and public library workers.

The new agreement will extend to all aspects of the collective agreements, with amendments including a proposed salary increase and a reduction to long-term financial liabilities through changes to benefits for new employees.

"It's something we've been working on for quite some time with CUPE and others, and we're very happy to have been able to reach that agreement with them," MHA and treasury board president Steve Crocker told reporters following the announcement.

"It's very similar to what you would have seen with the other public service unions that have already signed on," such as NAPE and the registered nurses' union.

Jeremy Eaton/CBC
Jeremy Eaton/CBC

When asked whether the proposed salary increase could mirror figures given to other unions, like the four per cent wage increase over 18 months that was part of NAPE's agreement with the province in February. Crocker called the numbers in that deal "a template."

He said the pandemic served as an inhibitor at times during negotiations, but was a key factor in getting the deal done.

"If you think about who these CUPE members are, a lot of them are front-line workers," he said. "Whether it's somebody working in a hospital or a school bus driver or a teaching assistant, it was important we get where we got to today."

Crocker said specifics of the new deal won't be announced until the deal is ratified by CUPE's approximately 3,700 workers. The deal will be presented to workers in the coming weeks.

"We'll let CUPE go out and share it with their members, and hopefully they'll accept this tentative agreement."

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