Open Letter to District of Kitimat Employees

You will have heard that the Mayor has posted a letter regarding bargaining. That posting followed communication with the Union regarding the final offer.

The District is very concerned about the ongoing hardship to employees caused by the strike. The District wants to see the strike end as soon as possible. We want you, our employees at work; earning a living; supporting yourselves and your families; and, at the same time, providing the services all of our citizens enjoy and use.

The District decided to provide the Union with an opportunity to agree to the Final Offer by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday or  the District will refer bargaining to an external negotiator who will have the authority to conclude a Collective Agreement. The District is taking this step in an effort to break the impasse which has resulted in a 6-week strike.

Our Collective Agreement has significant protection for existing employees.  Regular Employees cannot be laid off as a result of contracting out. 

Along with a 2.5% wage increase in each year — 2015 to 2017 — the District’s Final Offer improved the previous Collective Agreement with the following:

  • Converting some part-time positions into 10 new full-time positions in the Leisure Services Department over two years. Six in year one, four in year two
  • Transitioning Labourers to the Equipment Operator III position
  • All Crew Leader I’s will be transitioned to the Crew Leader II rate
  • Elevating two positions to Heavy Equipment Operators
  • Updating and re-signing the “No Layoff” letter of agreement
  • Engaging services of a Health and Safety Officer
  • Increased wages for Leisure Services summer students
  • Enhanced Training Program
  • Improve reimbursements for training recertification
  • Increased coverage for safety boots from $175 to $200
  • Reimbursement of steel toed rubber boots, $200 once every two years
  • Increase in mechanic’s tool allowance to $250
  • Hearing Aid $1,500 per ear, over two years
  • Chiropractic/naturopathic $800 annually
  • Speech therapist $2,000 annually
  • Psychologist $900 annually
  • Orthopaedic shoes $600 annually for adults and dependent children
  • Orthodontic coverage $5000 including white fillings
  • Eyeglass coverage $500 every two years; eye exam $100 every two years
  • Birth control $300 annually
  • A 50% recreation subsidy


The District has a Harassment Policy. The District is required to comply with new WorkSafe regulations on bullying and harassment and with the Human Rights Code which prohibits discrimination.  Our Policy was the result of consultation with the Union and the International Association Fire Fighters Local 1304.  The policy covers and protects all employees of the District of Kitimat and Council.

A copy of the District’s Final Offer tabled on February 26, 2015 and a copy of the Collective Agreement is available to anyone who would like to review the Agreement.  Email: info@kitimat.ca for a copy.

Finally, we want to comment on the Council meeting of April 7, 2015 and the role of Council. Kitimat Council has authority to make broad policy decisions and set the overall direction of the District. Council is given that authority by law, the Community Charter.  We are not aware of any Council becoming directly involved in bargaining as that is not their role. However, Mayor and Council did meet with the Union’s bargaining committee in December 2014 and then gave the District Administrators a mandate within which to negotiate.  The Union disagrees with that mandate.

In summary, we give the Union an opportunity to agree to our Final Offer and sign a collective agreement to break this impasse. We hope to conclude a collective agreement and have you return to work as soon as possible.

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Media Contact:
Ron Poole, Chief Administrative Officer, 250-632-8916