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Deal reached in Metro wastewater workers strike

Union ratifies tentative contract, awaits confirmation from Metro Vancouver
Members of the Greater Vancouver Regional District Employees Union picketing at the Northwest Langley Wastewater Treatment in early October. The union membership voted to ratify a tentative contract earlier this month. (Langley Advance Times files)

Wastewater plant workers in Langley, Delta, and across Metro Vancouver have voted 85 per cent in favour of a tentative contract.

The ratification vote for workers in the Greater Vancouver Regional District Employees’ Union was held on Nov. 15, and a Nov. 24 decision by Metro Vancouver on the deal is expected on Nov. 24.

The deal was reached after a three-day bargaining session at the B.C. Labour Relations Board, ending on Nov. 3, according to the union.

“As you are all well aware, this most recent round of bargaining was particularly challenging, and we could not have reached a deal without the support of the entire membership,” said a message from the union’s bargaining committee.

The union had been without a contract for 19 months.

Details of the new contract were not released publicly, but earlier in the bargaining, Metro Vancouver was offering an 11.5 per cent wage increase over three years, as well as a one-time lump sum bonus worth 4.5 per cent of wages.

On Oct. 16, the bulk of the workers, with the exception of some essential staff, walked off the job and formed picket lines at treatment plants in Langley, North Delta, Richmond and on the North Shore.

After several days of bargaining, talks briefly broke off in mid-October.

READ MORE: Talks break off in Metro Vancouver wastewater plants strike

Parts of Langley are served by the Northwest Langley Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located at the foot of 200th Street under the Golden Ears Bridge.

Originally built in 1978, Metro Vancouver plans to expand the plant significantly by 2030, and using it to serve wastewater from Maple Ridge and Pitt meadows. In total, it will serve an area with about 280,000 people, up from around 30,000 people now.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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