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Skytrain employees ratify three-year deal

The Millennium and Expo Skytrains in Vancouver will stay on track for at least another three years thanks to a deal reached between the employees' union and the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).

CUPE local 7000, which represents 530 Skytrain employees, announced yesterday that they have ratified a three-year agreement with the BCRTC. The deal includes a wage adjustment of three percent, with a half per cent for trades workers in the first year, followed by wage increases in year two and three to match the wages of other Translink employees currently in negotiations with their employers, the Coast Mountain Bus Company and the Canada Line.

The union and BCRTC will also form a joint committee to discuss examine and recommendations for a pension plan for the workers.

"Our members want to move towards a defined benefit plan that allows people to retire with a sense of security,” says Bill Magri, vice-president of CUPE 7000 in a press release. “Now we’ll have a process to follow and if we can’t reach agreement at the end of the day, it goes to binding arbitration.”

The BCRTC, which receives funding from Translink, says they reached an agreement with the union in early April and they are pleased with the outcome.

"BC Rapid Transit Company is very comfortable with that deal and we're moving forward with implementing it," says Jennifer Siddon, communications liaison for BCRTC.

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