Employees of the Royal Canadian Legion in Maple Ridge now have a new contract to look forward to, which was recently passed with a unanimous vote.
The employees, who are represented by the CLAC Local 501 union, approved the three-year collective agreement that gives them annual wage increases as well as various other improvements.
“We’re very pleased with the settlement reached,” said CLAC representative Aleasha Wegner.
Under the new contract, legion employees will receive a five per cent wage increase in 2022, followed by a four per cent increase in 2023 and a three per cent increase in 2024.
“The union bargaining committee did not push for large wage increases, recognizing that the legion made minimal profit throughout the pandemic,” said Wegner. “However, the employer recognized the importance of wage increases for future recruitment and retention and responded with increases above those proposed by our committee.”
The 88th branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has also now joined the large number of B.C. companies who have made the move to declare the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday.
Another major change included in this new contract is a reduction of the number of hours worked that are required in order to receive insurance and benefits coverage.
In order to receive 100 per cent coverage, employees now only have to work 80 hours, which is down from the previous 100 hours. Getting 50 per cent or self-pay coverage now requires 65 hours, down from the previous 80 hours.
The final change included as part of this new contract is a small increase in employer contributions to retirement savings.
Having these changes in place is crucial for helping improve the hiring process in the future said legion secretary manager Lesley Nantel.
“It is important for the Maple Ridge Legion to be a progressive employer, not only for our current staff but also for recruitment and retention,” said Nantel. “It has been difficult in many industries to find staff and we hope that the terms and wages that were agreed upon are also appealing to future hires.”
Now that its new contract has been unanimously ratified, the Maple Ridge legion will be turning its attention toward the upcoming Remembrance Day services happening throughout the community on Nov. 11.
For more information on any Maple Ridge legion activities or fundraisers happening in local communities, visit https://www.facebook.com/mapleridgelegion88.
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