Unionized Kelowna jail guards have an arbitrated settlement in their contract dispute with their employer Commissionaires B.C.—Image: Capital News file

Unionized Kelowna jail guards have an arbitrated settlement in their contract dispute with their employer Commissionaires B.C.—Image: Capital News file

Arbitrated settlement for Kelowna jail guards

Details of arbitration settlement in contract dispute not released

After a contract dispute that pushed Kelowna jail guards to the brink of strike action late last year, a settlement has been reached following binding arbitration.

The dispute, between the guards, members of CUPE local 338, and their employer, Commissionaires B.C., was sent to arbitration last week, and a hearing was held Friday.

Arbitrator Mark Brown handed down his decision Monday but details were not released publicly.

The reason for not revealing the arbitration decision is because the Commissionaires are set to bid on the upcoming contract from the city for jail guard services. It has held the contract for the last 15 years.

Commissionaires B.C. has said it is is pleased with the arbitrator’s decision.

The union has said the ruling will give Kelowna guards more than the employer offered in negotiations, but they will still make less than jail guards in other cities. Prior to the arbitration ruling, they earned $5 per hour less than other guards in other cities.

The union sought a $2 per hour wage increase for the 17 guards who work at the jail in the Kelowna RCMP police services building. The City of Kelowna contracts out the work at the jail.

Last month, during the contract dispute, the union served strike notice before agreeing to send the dispute to arbitration.

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