4,000 Alberta electrical workers win 15.5% wage increase

Members of IBEW 424 had been without a new contract since 2019.

In the March–April 2023 Bargaining Update released at the end of last month, Alberta’s jobs, economy, and northern development ministry indicated that a new collective agreement for electrical workers had been reached.

Settled on 8 March 2023, the new agreement is between the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta and Local 424 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The new 2-year agreement replaces the previous agreement, which actually expired in April 2019, nearly 4 years previously, and will expire in April 2025.

Electrical workers covered by this new agreement can expect to see 3 increases to wages during the life of the contract.

Mar 20237.5%
Oct 20234.0%
May 20244.0%

That’s a combined total increase to wages of 15.5%, or an average of 5.17% per year.

The new contract will affect over 4,000 electrical workers throughout the province.

Truth and Reconciliation Day was added to the list of paid general holidays.

Workers under the new contract will also see their transportation reimbursement increase from 52¢ per kilometre to 65¢ a kilometre by the end of the contract.

There will also be an increase to transportation reimbursement to remote sites.

Up to 200 km$88$110
201–300 km$124$156
201–375 km$150$188
376–475 km$224$280
Over 475 km$344$429

Plus, any workers who must remain at remote sites between 300 and 475 kilometres away from Calgary or Edmonton for more than 35 days will receive an allowance of $217, up from $174 under the previous contract, for each period of 35 days. For jobs beyond 475 kilometres, the allowance will increase from $312 to $390 for each 35-day period.

Employer contributions to the worker insurance benefit plan will increase from $2 an hour to $2.20 an hour by the end of the contract.

Turnout for the ratification vote was 58% of the IBEW Local 424 membership. This is higher than any other voter turnout in recent history. Of those who voted, 77% were in favour of the new agreement.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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