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CSU 52, library workers to receive 6.25% increase, $1k lump sum under tentative agreement with city


The union representing city and library workers has shared more information on a tentative deal reached to avoid a strike.

Lanny Chudyk, president of Civic Service Union 52, outlined the details of the proposed agreement for reporters on Friday morning.

Workers will receive a lump sum payment of $1,000 for 2021, a 1.25 per cent increase for 2022, a two per cent increase for 2023, and a three per cent increase for 2024.

The same offer was made to both city and library workers.

Union members must still vote to ratify the deal, something Chudyk expects to happen late next week.

"I'm pretty certain that we will be able to have these ratified," he told reporters on Friday.

"Both parties compromise a bit at the end of the bargaining. We took into account the fact that taxpayers paid the price for these increases, and we've tried to craft a way not to make it as hard on the taxpayer as it might have come in."

Eric Adams, a professor of law at the University of Alberta, said the presence of compromise in the tentative deal is "pretty clear."

"You don't see an increase to salaries that I'm sure the members would have hoped for given inflationary pressures, but you also see substantial increases when you look at the cumulative impact of those year-over-year increases," Adams told CTV News Edmonton.

"I think from the city's perspective, there is some cost containment there, where those were numbers that they were willing to live with."

In the end, "as is usually the case in these matters, nobody gets out without water in the wine" Adams said.

"Usually, a good collective agreement negotiation has everyone walking away a little bit upset, because no one was able to dictate the terms of the agreement that was reached. So in the sweep of time, you hope that people feel comfortable with the bargain, but probably in the immediate sense, nobody's perfectly happy."

Chudyk said in addition to the wage increases, the deal makes provisions for some non-monetary issues workers also wanted to see addressed.

"We have an agreement to craft a way to allow people of different faiths to be able to exchange the Christian holidays for their own faith," he commented.

He said an agreement was also reached which will allow the union to represent approximately 400 fitness instructors and employees at Commonwealth Stadium on disciplinary issues.

"We didn't really have the ability to represent them if there was a grievance, if they were being disciplined, or there was bullying, harassment," he said.

"We have created a working committee between the city and CSU 52 to explore and work towards bringing them fully into the agreement in mid-2025."

Chudyk said while Edmonton's population and geographic footprint has expanded in recent years, the number of city workers serving the area has not.

"We don't have enough staff in a lot of these work areas," he said.

"When you add 400 kilometres of roadways, you can't expect to have them clean, plowed and serviced with the same number of staff and pieces of equipment you had 10 years before.

"This council needs to understand, their capital infrastructure spending creates issues in the operational labour budget. You have to add more people to maintain and service that infrastructure." 

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nav Sangha Top Stories

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