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Town wages frozen for two years

After three meetings with a provincial conciliator, the Town and its union reached an agreement for a wage freeze for the next two years.

The 80 full-time and casual employees will instead receive a lump sum $500 payment this year and $750 next year and some undisclosed improvements in medical benefits.

According to the Town after a closed session meeting Monday night, “contract language regarding staffing and hours of work” is also improved.

It was the contract language regarding casual employees that was the sticking point and caused the two sides to seek conciliation after talks broke down in February.

Non-union and management wages are also frozen for two years, and council remuneration will remain at current levels.

Councillors are paid $12,792.54 a year, and the mayor is paid $54,727.

The total budget for wages in 2011 was $10,552,010 with an increase of $435,000 budgeted for 2012 before the settlement was reached.

Past increases for union members ranged between two and three percent for three year contracts. Non-union agreements usually parallel union agreements.

“Credit is due to the local membership for accepting a fair and reasonable settlement that reflects current economic realities,” said interim chief administrative officer Ron Tripp.

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