Workers at The Canadian Press (CP) have voted 92 per cent in favour of ratifying a tentative contract that came after less than a week of bargaining.
The deal extends the current four-year collective agreement to Dec. 31, 2019, but is conditional on a successful merger of CP’s pension plans with that of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology.
Terry Pedwell, president of the CP Branch of the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213), said the company has told the Guild it hopes to complete the merger as quickly as possible. If the merger is not successful, the parties would resume bargaining for the renewal of the collective agreement.
There are more than 200 Guild members at CP, working from six bureau cities and several correspondent posts. The bargaining unit comprises mostly editorial staff, but also includes sales, IT and office-support employees.
The one-year contract extension provides a wage increase of one per cent at the date of a successful merger of the pension plans.
Other terms include:
- A contribution rate of 7.0 per cent, which is matched by the employer;
- A 2.0-per-cent interest rate for 2019 money owed by CP under the Employee Participation Program (EPP);
- An option to start EPP payments in 2020 as buyback of past pension service, upon terms to be negotiated between the two parties.