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UPDATED: Information released regarding new collective agreement at KSCU

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
November 26th, 2016

Information has been released in the four-year agreement between Kootenay Savings Credit Union and United Steelworkers Locals 9705 and 1‐405.


The two sides in the labour dispute — Kootenay Savings Credit Union and United Steelworkers Locals 9705 and 1‐405 — ratified the terms the collective agreement after bargaining teams reached a tentative agreement Wednesday (November 23).


The deal was reached through the mediation of provincial mediator Dave Schaub.


“We returned to the table on Tuesday and the employer came back with a clear change in the approach to resolving the pension issue,” Dean Lott, USW Staff Rep and lead negotiator for the union said in a media release.


“Their offer of a minimum annual contribution of $200,000 to cover any potential shortfall if pension changes were made gave our members comfort that their pension level would be protected while at the same time giving the employer certainty in their liability.”


“That’s if there are any changes made to the pension plan. If there isn’t, there’s no impact on the employer or our members.” 


Lott said once the pension issue was agreed-to late Tuesday night, the other outstanding issues fell into place on Wednesday.


Union members ratified the contract during meetings in Trail and Kimberley on Friday, ending the dispute.


“(Friday), Kootenay Savings’ Board of Directors voted to accept the new four year agreement, while the majority of bargaining unit employees also voted in favour of the deal,” Brent Tremblay, KSCU President and CEO, said in media release.


“The renewed agreement contains additional pension protection by way of improvements to the existing retirement allowance. The creation of a second retirement fund will provide an extra layer of protection for employees in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan while achieving a necessary financial limit on Kootenay Savings’ future pension costs.

Details of the new agreement include:

  • $1000 lump sum in Year 1; $1000 lump sum in Year 2; 1.5% wage increase in Year 3 and 2% in Year 4; 4-year agreement expiring December 31, 2019

  • Resolution of the Pension Protection Language issue
Improved Eyewear benefit to $300/every two years
  • Increased Heath Care Spending Account to $500/annually
Increased Paramedical Benefits from $200 to $500 annually but capping Massage to $500 annually Improved Staff Banking Benefits

  • No change to Hours of Work

  • Return of 3rd Floater for full-time employees lost with the declaration of BC Family Day in 2013

Tremblay said he is very pleased the two sides were able to find common ground to achieve a deal.


“On behalf of our entire Board of Directors and Senior Management Team, I am extremely pleased that both bargaining teams came together and worked diligently this past week to arrive at an agreement that was able to be fully supported by both parties,” said Tremblay.


“We understand this labour dispute has been disruptive and unsettling for some of our members, and created challenging circumstances for all of our valued employees. It is absolutely our priority to have our staff return to their regular positions, with a continued commitment to take ownership for meeting our members’ financial needs.


“As a member‐owned community credit union, our primary focus is to provide access to exceptional service and financial advice through a variety of delivery channels.”


Tremblay said unionized employees will return to work the morning of Wednesday, November 30, and all unionized branches will resume regular operations at 12:30 pm that afternoon.


Tentative deal reached in Kootenay Savings Credit Union Labour dispute


Coolers heads have been replaced by solid bargaining in the Kootenay Savings Credit Union Labour dispute.

Thursday, the two sides in the dispute — Kootenay Savings Credit Union and the United Steelworkers, Locals 9705 and 1‐405 — announced in a joint statement a tentative agreement had been reached Wednesday.

“Both parties will be recommending acceptance of the terms of this renewed collective agreement to their principals,” the joint statement said.


“Once the agreement has been ratified, further details will be released.”


The two sides have been bargaining for well over a year but could not come to an agreement on the contentious issue of pension. Other key stumbling block included wages.


Both parties were in legal position to strike or lockout as of Friday, October 21.


On Tuesday October 25th, the Union commenced work to rule action.


On Friday, October 27 the Kootenay Savings Credit Union locked out its employees. The lockout was to be for only one day but continued until Wednesday.

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