Bus drivers, hotel housekeepers get wage increase 

Bus drivers and several housekeepers in Whistler will see an increase in their wages, now that two groups represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union have negotiated new agreements with their employers.

According to union spokesperson Pete Smith, Whistler Transit drivers will receive a wage increase of more than 29 per cent, bringing their salaries to parity with drivers at Coast Mountain Bus Company in the Lower Mainland.

Smith said the drivers' rate before bargaining was $22.33 per hour; now within four years, they will receive $28.90 an hour.

"Our Local 114 Whistler Transit drivers led the way," said Smith, adding their request for parity "was a real reach."

Housekeepers with Westin Resort and Spa also negotiated an 11.5 per cent wage increase over three years, along with a 6.5 per cent increase this year.

"The Westin agreement expired and the members there were looking for major increases, and we managed to get significantly more than we would otherwise because they were quite determined to do so," said Smith.

Housekeepers at the Residence Inn at Marriot will also get a 4 per cent increase this year, a 3.5 per cent increase next year and then a 2.5 increase the following year.

That is a substantial boost in salaries for such a small hotel, commented Smith.

CAW is the largest private sector union in Canada with over 225,000 members across Canada, according to the association's website.

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