Kimberley Transport wins living wage tie-in

UFCW 1518 members working at Kimberley Transport ratified a strong renewed collective agreement in February that saw many gains.

Kimberley Transport is a non-profit community transit bus system that runs between Kimberley and Cranbrook as well as between the township of Kimberley and the ski hill.

Notably, the agreement has a direct tie-in with the minimum wage so that when the minimum wage rises, there will be a corresponding bump in all wages across the wage grid. The Fair Wages Commission has recommended four hikes to the minimum wage over the next four years. So when the minimum wage rises by $1.30 this coming June, all workers at Kimberly Transport will receive an increase of $1.30.

“This is a major win for our members,” said union representative Lorraine Ausman. “It means that those with experience and expertise gained on the job will be acknowledged when the minimum wage goes up. This is a forward-looking agreement that I expect will set a new standard.”

In addition to the minimum wage tie-in, the five-year deal includes a general wage increase of 2.5 percent in the first year and a two percent bump in each remaining year. “With a union behind them, our members were able to leverage the political gains the labour movement achieved through its campaign to raise the minimum wage,” explained Ausman. “In turn, that protects their general wage increase.”