Telus Workers Ratify New Deal
Prince George, B.C. – Telus employees across the country, including in Prince George, have ratified a new contract with their employer.
“It’s a six-year deal, but there’s five-years left in the agreement,” says Lee Riggs, national president at the Telecommunications Workers Union, United Steelworkers Local 1944. “It’ll come up on Dec. 31, 2021. We got zero, zero, zero in the first three-years and 2 per cent, 2 per cent and 2 per cent in the last three-years.”
In lieu of no increases the first three years, he says the company is providing workers a lump sum payment of between $7,500 and $9,000.
Riggs says the union leadership didn’t recommend the deal because it contained “too many concessions.”
Regardless, he says roughly half of union membership – which totals about 10,800 employees in B.C. Alta., Ont., and Que. – turned out to vote, the highest turnout ever. 68 per cent voted in favour.
“It was extremely tough bargaining,” says Riggs. “They’re a very sophisticated employer and we’re a sophisticated union. It’s always hard bargaining with Telus.”
He says their last contract expired Dec. 31, 2015. There are roughly 400 Telus employees in Prince George.