Bargaining Update: Town of Ponoka—Local 118, Chapter 004, All Staff
On May 4, your negotiating team received the employer’s latest contract offer. The team was disappointed that the employer continues to disrespect us with their latest proposal.
The employer’s contract offer would give us zero salary increases for 2020 and 2021, with only one per cent per year for the following three years. We would be willing to consider a longer agreement as they’re proposing, if it was worth our while. Two years of zeros followed by three years of one per cent is decidedly not worth our while — particularly as inflation is hitting seven per cent in the past year alone, taxes are up three per cent, and the town is increasing utility rates.
They’re also refusing to offer us any benefit improvements, despite the fact that we know management has significantly better benefits than we do. The management plan provides $1000/year health spending account, while ours is $500/year. The same principle applies to health and dental — we have a 60/40 split on coverage and we pay the full cost of long-term disability (LTD) coverage. Management gets covered 100 per cent for health, dental and life insurance entirely paid for by the Town.
What we are asking for is fair and in line with other municipalities such as the Special Areas Board (in the Hanna area) where the flex account is already at $900 and the employer pays 100% of dental and long-term disability coverage.
That’s why we’re asking for an 80/20 split on health and dental, and $1000 annually in our flex spending accounts, which would bring us closer to the management plan.
Most of us have been working at the Town for many years. We help keep the Town of Ponoka running, and it’s time that we were appreciated.
Our next bargaining session, with a mediator, is scheduled for May 30.
We will continue to update you throughout the negotiations process. If you need any more information, or want to share any feedback, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the members of your negotiating team.
AUPE NEGOTIATING TEAM - TOWN OF PONOKA
Lori Matejka firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamara Cameron email@example.com
AUPE RESOURCE STAFF:
Merryn Edwards Negotiator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Farid Iskander email@example.com
Jon Milton Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org