For the second year in a row, the Town of Amherst and CUPE Local 1233 have agreed to extend their collective agreement by one year.
The contract extension to March 31, 2020, was formally signed by both parties during a ceremony that took place at Amherst town hall on July 9.
The original contract ended on March 31, 2018, and its first extension expired on March 31, 2019.
The two parties had scheduled two days of collective bargaining this spring, but due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control those dates were cancelled. Following the cancellation, it was determined bargaining for a new contract could not begin again until sometime this fall.
As a result of the delay, the town offered to rollover the existing deal until March 31, 2020, with a wage increase. This was accepted by the union, which formally approved the extension last week. Amherst town council ratified the agreement during a special council session, held moments before the official contract signing took place.
Under the accepted terms of the rollover, there will be no language changes to the contract and CUPE members will receive a two per cent wage increase, retroactive to April 1, 2019. The wage increase is consistent with contracts of the town’s comparator municipal units and was accounted for in the current year’s budget.
The two parties also agreed to begin negotiations for the next contract this fall, with the goal of having a new agreement negotiated prior to the expiration of the current extension.
The union represents personnel, such as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, stadium operators and parks attendants, that work in the town’s operation services department and recreation facilities.