Pickets will not be going up at Kootenay Savings branches like the one in South Slocan after all.

Pickets will not be going up at Kootenay Savings branches like the one in South Slocan after all.

Strike averted at Kootenay Savings

Kootenay Savings Credit Union has reached a settlement with its unionized employees.

Kootenay Savings Credit Union has reached a settlement with its unionized employees.

According to a joint news release, details of the agreement will remain confidential until it has been ratified. Both sides, however, are unanimously recommending acceptance.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached a tentative agreement after a challenging set of negotiations,” says Kootenay Savings CEO Brent Tremblay. “Both bargaining committees are to be commended for the professional and respectful way in which these negotiations have been carried out.”

Chuck Macklon, president of United Steelworkers Local 9705 added: “It was a tough round of bargaining for everyone, especially our members who endured four months of uncertainty; we commend them for their strength and support.”

Local 1-405, which represents the Kimberley branch, is also recommending acceptance.

The other affected branches are South Slocan, Kaslo, Salmo, Warfield, Trail, Waneta Plaza, Fruitvale, Salmo, and Castlegar, Kaslo and Kimberley.

The last contract expired at the end of last year.

Ninety-three per cent of workers endorsed a strike early last month, with 82 per cent of the 150 union employees turning out for the vote.

They subsequently voted 81 per cent to reject the credit union’s final offer

The main sticking point was the lack of a long-term plan to compensate union members for changes made to the pension plan last year, which raised the retirement age to 62 from 60, increased employee contributions by 1.5 per cent and boosted the early retirement penalty to six per cent per year from three.