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Union for Edmonton city, library workers unveils salary increases in tentative deal

Civic Service Union 52 president Lanny Chudyk addresses a tentative agreement for city and library workers on March 15, 2024. (Manuel Carrillos Avalos/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Civic Service Union 52 president Lanny Chudyk addresses a tentative agreement for city and library workers on March 15, 2024. (Manuel Carrillos Avalos/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The union for Edmonton library and city workers says members will see a 6.25 per cent salary increase over three years, plus a $1,000 lump sum payment, if they ratify a tentative deal that narrowly averted strike action this week.

Civic Service Union 52, which represents about 5,000 administrative city workers and 680 Edmonton Public Library staff, made details of the monetary increases public on Friday.

The deal isn't official until members ratify the agreement. EPL and city workers are part of separate bargaining units, so they have separate deals, but the proposed salary increases are the same for both.

Workers were preparing to walk off the job Thursday, but hours before picket lines were set to appear, the union announced it had reached a deal with the city. An agreement with the library followed Thursday evening.

Wages have been the central issue in the labour dispute. The workers haven't had a wage increase since 2018 and have been without a contract since 2020.

Numbers released by the union show that under the tentative deal, employees will get a $1,000 lump sum payment in lieu of a wage increase for 2021. Then, they'll see a 1.25 per cent raise for 2022, a two per cent increase in 2023 and a three per cent increase in 2024.

CSU 52 president Lanny Chudyk said union members are relieved to see the situation resolved.

"It's my understanding it was a good number of members of the council who stepped up in interceded to push this deal to where it is today," he said Friday.

"My members never in either bargaining unit wanted to go to a picket line. They never wanted to disrupt services to the citizens. ... Bluntly, if this council had interceded late summer, early fall, even before Christmas, we could have got this deal done then."

A spokesperson for the Edmonton Public Library declined CBC's request for comment, saying CSU 52 members still need to see the details of the tentative agreement.

City officials also say they won't comment until the ratification process is finished.

More to come.