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TMCNet:  Bell Canada workers accept new collective agreement

[December 21, 2012]

Bell Canada workers accept new collective agreement

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2012, 2012 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Bell Canada technicians, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, have voted by 74% to accept a tentative agreement reached at the end of last month.


The results were released earlier today following the counting of ballots from a series of ratification meetings in Ontario and Quebec.

"We were successful in gaining improvements in key areas, notably employment security, early retirement opportunities, and guarantees of hiring new technicians as employees retire.", says Barb Dolan, CEP's Administrative Vice-President for Ontario, noting that the bargaining committee had recommended acceptance of the offer.

Highlights of the agreement include: -- A four-year contract with wage increases of 1.5%, 1.75%, 2% and 2%, respectively -- Stronger job security language for current workers o early retirement packages o new employees hired to replace at least 50% of those who chose to retire o Full-time opportunities for all part-time workers over the term of the agreement -- About 170 temporary workers will be re-classified as permanent -- Increases in per-diems, bereavement leave, among others -- Improvements in wording that open up job postings to more members "The union is pleased with the way negotiations took place," adds Dolan.

"The climate was much more positive than in previous bargaining rounds, "she says. There was an openness and willingness to move forward and obtain a good collective agreement. It was not always so, and in fact, previous negotiations were very tense." "A progressive contract such as this one, with gains in job security, and successor rights, is very welcome." Negotiations have been ongoing since September and the previous agreement expired Nov. 30, 2012.

CEP represents more than 4,500 technicians at Bell, 3,000 of whom work in Ontario and 1,500 in Quebec.

CEP is the largest telecommunications union in Canada.

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2012/21/c3185.html SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA Barb Dolan (416) 998-3954

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