ESTEVAN - The City of Estevan and the union that represents its employees have come together on a new three-year contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.
Members of CUPE Local 726 will receive a two per cent wage increase in 2023 and 2024, and a 2 1/4 per cent increase in 2025. Mayor Roy Ludwig announced the pact in an interview with the Mercury on Friday morning.
“We met several times,” said Ludwig. “The negotiations were very respectful, and went well.”
The first bargaining session was held on Nov. 7 of last year and the two sides met seven times, Ludwig said.
The mayor noted they met more than usual this time because both sides wanted to discuss some of the language in the collective agreement. They were able to agree on most issues brought forward.
A wage increase for the city’s employees was factored into this year’s City of Estevan budget, which was approved by Estevan city council this past Monday.
Ludwig noted that for the new collective bargaining agreement, the city incorporated new maternity leave benefits that was recently approved by the federal government.
City of Estevan human resources generalist Sheryl March agreed the negotiations went very well and the tone was appreciated.
“We appreciate that we were able to get an agreement for the benefit of both sides,” said March.
Ludwig noted there is approximately 150 people who are part of the local union, and they work in such areas as public works, sewer and water, leisure services and the water treatment plant, among others. The number of employees increases during the summer months.
CUPE local president Rhonda Gillespie also commented on the deal.
“Our members have voted to ratify this contract and we will continue to work for the people of Estevan to provide the services they rely on," Gillespie said.