Calgary energy workers win 11.5% wage increase

The workers also saw improvements to lunch breaks, eye care, and orthodontic care, as well as the addition of domestic violence leave.

After more than 2.5 years since their last contract expired energy workers based out of Calgary finally have a new contract.

Represented by Local 6673 of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union—also known as United Steelworkers—the workers ratified their new agreement at the end of 2022.

These workers were employed by EVRAZ North America, and the Calgary location specializes in oil and gas well casing and tubing, heat treating, and EVRlock connections.

The last contract between EVRAZ and Local 6673 had expired at the end of July 2020, although bargaining didn’t begin until May 2021.

The 160 workers who are under the new 4-year contract will see wage increases in every year of the collective agreement.

1 August 20204.0%
1 August 20211.5%
1 August 20223.0%
1 August 20233.0%

That’s a combined 11.5% increase over the entire 4 years, for an average of 2.88% per year.

Here’s how those increases break down in hourly pay for the various trades:

Mechanic heavy duty45.93346.62248.02149.461
Electronic technician50.30551.0652.59154.169
Instrument man49.13649.87351.36952.91
Elec. engineering technologist50.30551.0652.59154.169
Mill technologist50.30551.0652.59154.169

Under the new contract, workers who have their employment contract terminated by the employer and have been employed for at least 5 years will no longer be limited to a maximum of $400 a month in severance pay.

Other changes to the contract include moving from a 20-minute paid lunch break on an 8-hour shift for continuous shift operations workers to a 30-minute paid lunch break. As well, any such employees who work through lunch during their shift will be paid 30 minutes at the applicable overtime rate of pay.

Workers will also be entitled to the employer paying for the frames and grinding of prescription safety lenses. Under the previous contract, only the grinding was covered by the employer. Also new to the collective agreement is that the employer shall pay 100 of the cost of all medical and health examinations and testing required by the company as a result of company policies, procedures or legislation. As well, in cases deemed medically necessary, the employer will aid in finding appropriate drug and alcohol rehabilitation services available through public or provincial programs.

Changes to health benefits include moving from an annual maximum of $1,500 to $1,800 in orthodontics coverage. The lifetime maximum also increased from $3,000 in the previous contract to $3,600 in the new contract.

New to the contract is 10 days of leave for workers experiencing domestic violence, 5 of which will be paid.

There were also some changes to gender-specific language, replacing instances of “he” with “they”, for example.

Support independent journalism

By Kim Siever

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

Comment on this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: