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October 15, 2013 - 4:00pm PST
After more than two weeks on the picket line, 33 Unifor members at a British Columbia credit union are back on the job with more fairness in how training and educational opportunities are offered in their workplace.

The three-year deal at Khalsa Credit Union, ratified Oct 15, provides for raises of 3 per cent in each year.

As well, the Unifor bargaining team - Harjit Nagra, Sarbjit Lidder and Kuljit Aujla - negotiated language requiring that training be offered based on seniority, rather than managers deciding.

Before staff can negotiate loans or offer financial advice, they must receive the proper education and training, Local 3000 President Jean Van Vliet said.

“The credit union needs to be fair about who it offers training to,” Van Vliet said.

The tellers, loans officers and financial advisors at Khalsa, members of Unifor Local 3000, make less than those at similar sized banks and credit unions in BC. This contract will help close that gap, staff representative Stu Shields said.

The members had strong support on their first day of picketing, Sept. 28, being joined by British Columbia NDP MLA for Surrey Newton Harry Bains, along with Unifor British Columbia Area Director Gavin McGarrigle and a number of Unifor local members and staff.

An earlier deal fell apart when the credit union threatened to lay off several workers, prompting the members to vote to stay on strike until the layoff threat was lifted.

Khalsa is the largest credit union serving the province’s Sikh community, with $287 million in assets and 13, 000 members.
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Last Updated: February 14, 2014 11:23:48 PM