USW/Highland Valley Copper Final Settlement

Bargaining Updates October 03, 2011

Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to take the time to thank everyone for their support. I understand for many, giving the Bargaining Committee a Strike mandate was a little unnerving to say the least. You put your trust in us, the result of that is we have delivered a great collective agreement and without a labour dispute. I know for some it will not be enough, I know for some there will be things that were negotiated that they will not be happy with. I also know some will be upset because we were not able to negotiate pension indexing. Difficult to do it all perfect for everyone, but to do anything different would have been reckless on the part of the Bargaining Committee.

Our average wage at the mine is now $31.07 and at the end of the 5 year deal, it will be $37.81. We were able to front end load the pension with $5.00 in the first year, a total of $10.00 going directly to the base over the 5 year deal. And don’t kid yourself; had you not given us the great strike vote, Teck would have taken our Copper Bonus away. The Copper Bonus is expected to generate an additional $16.00 to $19.00 over the term of the agreement. All total, even if you take the number on the low side, our pension base will grow in the next 5 years by $26.00 on the base, taking us to $105.00 per month per year of service. We have the best pension in the mining industry, thanks to the solidarity of all.

And how about that Overtime Banking? For those that like their time off, what great language to have back in our collective agreement. And although I am not a big fan of Signing Bonuses; $10,000? Not so bad at all when you couple it with a 4% increase in each year of the agreement. On wages alone, compounded, that works out to a 21.7% increase over the 5 years.

We have much more flexibility when it comes to having a ratification vote, polling stations will be set up at the mine, people will be able to vote following the Membership Meeting and starting tomorrow, you can drop into the Union Office, Monday to Thursday and vote at your leisure. We are at 770 Victoria Street.

Ultimately, whether we accept or reject this offer is in your hands.

The members of USW Local 7619 have proven once again, Solidarity Works!

In Solidarity,

Richard Boyce

Bargaining Committee 2011