Sports

SkyTrain workers, employer announce deal

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Unionized SkyTrain workers and their employer have announced a tentative three-year contract, averting a possible strike on two of three rapid transit lines in the Vancouver area.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees and the BC Rapid Transit Company were bargaining for eight months before talks broke down in late February.

Near the end of March, 95 per cent of the union's 537 members voted in favour of a strike.

The tentative deal, which must still be ratified by both sides and was reached Wednesday, includes wage increases of two per cent in each of the first two years and a 1.75-per-cent wage hike in the final year.

It also includes improvements to maternity benefits and the extended health plan, but employer-proposed changes to retirement benefits and the sick plan were dropped.

The union represents operators, attendants, trades, maintenance workers, office staff and dispatchers on the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines.

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