Province settles contract talks with NAPE

Tentative agreement reached

Published on September 17, 2013
Premier Kathy Dunderdale. — TC Media file photo
Star photo by Diane Crocker

The provincial government has a tentative agreement with the province’s largest union for public sector employees, giving them a five per cent raise over four years.

The agreement comes after more than a year of hard negotiation between the province and NAPE, and it now needs to be voted on by union members.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement that is both fiscally responsible and will benefit the thousands of public employees who work for the people of this province,” Premier Kathy Dunderdale said in a news release.

“These employees provide numerous high-quality programs and services for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in a professional and dedicated manner, and I am pleased we were able to reach an agreement that recognizes the important contribution they continue to make each and every day.”

The pay agreement is a zero per cent raise in years one and two of the deal. In year three, NAPE employees will get a two per cent raise, and in year four, they’ll get a three per cent bump in pay.

On top of that, each full-time employee will get a $1,400 signing bonus in year two of the agreement.

“After marathon bargaining sessions over the past eight days, we have reached tentative agreements which our negotiating teams will be recommending approval to our members,” NAPE President Carol Furlong said.

“We have made substantial gains on a number of monetary issues. In some cases, monetary benefits have increased in excess of 300 per cent. In other cases, monetary benefits have increased by 100 per cent. These are unprecedented gains for NAPE members.”

A NAPE news released stated government has agreed to implement the Job Evaluation System (JES) earlier than previously planned. This new system will see total compensation increase for NAPE members by approximately $48 million. This is over and above the negotiated salary increases.

 “I believe when our members have an opportunity to see the total package they will be prepared to accept the agreement,” stated Furlong.

The tentative agreements apply to the following NAPE bargaining units: General Service, Hospital Support Staff, Maintenance and Operational Services, Group Homes, Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, Marine Services, Laboratory and X-Ray, Health Professionals, School Boards, Student Assistants, Air Services, and College of the North Atlantic Support Staff.

NAPE bargaining teams will be taking the tentative agreements to the members for ratification votes in the coming weeks.