Two CWA Canada Locals have ratified new contracts that contain salary increases for workers at news operations in Ottawa and Medicine Hat, Alta.

CTV Ottawa unit members of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild (Local 30205) voted this week to accept a five-year deal that gives them a retroactive lump sum payment for 2014 equal to 1.5 per cent of salary and increases of 1.75 per cent for years 2015 through 2018.

ONG President Debbie Cole said that, of 18 members in the unit, 14 voted, with 12 in favour of the proposal.

The new contract moves benefits from the collective agreement to the Bell Media Flex Plan. It also changes the pension plan from defined benefit to defined contribution.

“This contract has been two years in the making,” with little of that time spent in bargaining, said Cole. The ONG had to deal with a raft of grievances after talks broke down; many of them involved layoffs that didn’t get settled until the union filed for arbitration.

“I think CTV Ottawa has a good contract. The pay increases are very welcome. We hope this will be the end of the fighting over contract violations and that we are entering a period of labour peace,” said Cole.

Members of the Media & Communications Workers of Alberta (Local 30400) who work at the Medicine Hat News also voted this week to ratify a four-year deal in which there were no concessions.

CWA Canada staff representative, David Wilson, who assisted bargaining teams in Ottawa and Medicine Hat, said the daily newspaper agreed to salary increases in the second, third and fourth year of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 per cent.

The 43 members who work in the newsroom and business office also saw improvements to severance pay, mileage and vehicle allowance for salespeople.

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