Unifor Local 2000 has ratified a first collective agreement for 11 reporters working at Torstar’s StarMetro Vancouver.
“It’s been a long road, and I am proud to say we helped close the wage gap between the top earners and lowest paid reporters,” said Brian Gibson, President of Unifor Local 2000. “We now have a path to ensure these journalists will be paid the same money for the same work. We made gains in defined hours of work, and wage increases ranging from two to 10 per cent, with lower-earning reporters seeing most of the gains.”
Highlights of the first contract include a defined benefit pension plan.
In recognition of the fact that some members relocated from the Toronto Star, members will be entitled to longer bereavement leave if a death of a close relative is more than 800 km away from Vancouver. The Local also won flex sick days where members can call in sick to take care of family members who are ill.
The bargaining committee also negotiated a four-week notice period of layoff and severance entitlements greater than BC’s employment standards.
“The bargaining committee wants to thank the members for their support and solidarity and the Local looks forward to supporting these new members during the life of this agreement”, Gibson added. “While you never get everything you want in a first collective agreement, we have made some great strides in this round of bargaining.”
“Although this is a small group of workers, in an industry that is under extreme pressure, it is important journalists have strong representation.”