AUPE members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new three-year contract on Tuesday. The contract awaits approval by the Board of Governors.
Вen Li/the Gauntlet

AUPE ratifies three-year deal

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AUPE members voted 83 per cent in favour of a three-year contract giving them a four per cent wage increase each year. The ratification comes after six months of negotiations between the union and the university.

"It reflects the will of the membership, so in that respect I feel good about it," said AUPE Chair Dan Tilleman. "It's the end of a long and arduous process."

University of Calgary Human Resources Director Michael Kozielec is also pleased that a large majority approved the contract.

"It's a three-year agreement which establishes stability because it is not year-to-year," said Kozielec. "It helps the university have a fixed number over a three year period."

U of C Associate Vice-President Richard Roberts could not give the exact dollar amount the settlement would cost the university because the U of C is currently settling its budget for the next fiscal year. As well, other collective agreements such as the one for The University of Calgary Faculty Association, are still in negotiations.

"To sort out budget will no doubt be a challenge," said Roberts. "But we have an important academic plan to guide us in making choices."

The next step in the contract process is approval by the U of C's Board of Governors at their next meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.

Along with a four per cent wage increase, the contract increases employee benefits and includes athletic coaches. As well, there is greater flexibility in working hours for employees, and more health benefits.

While the contract was approved, union members were concerned the local media was notified of the results before the membership. According to Tilleman he sent an e-mail at 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 29 to union members, however it was not delivered. He only discovered this problem the morning of Oct. 30 and re-sent the message to the e-mail list.

The Alberta Union of Public Employees Local 52 represents approximately 2,500 employees at the U of C, ranging from caretaking, food services, librarians, electricians and technologists.