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Amalgamated Transit Union and the Nicola Valley Transportation Society agreeing to a new five-year contract.

A ratification vote was conducted yesterday in Merritt.

While the agreement provided for no concessions and industry standard wage increases, the main selling points to members were new and improved clauses protecting their rights, an increase in health employer contributions to the health plan and the introduction of sick day provisions.

Bargaining committee member for local 1722 Tim Larsen says the agreement puts the Merritt Transit system on a sound basis for the coming years.

"With the expansion in service we will see next year, it was important to get a sound five-year deal."

Starting in 2018, both late night service hours and trips to Lower Nicola will be increased will be increased, and both Sunday and on-demand service will be introduced.


Nurse practitioner now serving the Upper Nicola Band.

A nurse practitioner can asses, diagnose, prescribe medications, order investigations including bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs and refer to specialists.

Chief Harvey McLeod says the service that has been needed for a while.

"We've been working on this now since last fall. We now have the resources allocated to bring in a nurse practitioner in two days a week. She will assist members of our community who don't currently have doctors, so they can start to get caught up with their medical needs."

The nurse practitioner is based out of the Quilchena Health Centre, and is taking appointments on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Tourism Merritt releasing new promotional brochure highlighting the top 10 Merritt fishing holes.

They say there is "A lake a day as long as you stay," and manager of economic development and tourism Will George is hoping to make it easier for would be anglers coming to the Nicola Valley.

"We worked with Anglers Atlas to help produce. We found that there was a lot of fishing promotional materials at area tourist information centres, but just not specifically for the Merritt area."

All the lakes in the new brochure, which are available now throughout the city, are within 100km of the city.

Tourism Merritt is also offering the Rod Loan Program through the Baillie House this summer, which provides a fishing rod and tackle box for up to a week, free of charge.

It's grad weekend in Merritt, and ICBC wants to make sure students are celebrating safely.

To ensure that, Senior Communications Specialist Lindsay Olsen says they need the parent's help.

"ICBC is urging all parents to make sure their teens plan safe rides home, from all of their celebrations and parties throughout the summer."

Stats from ICBC show that in the Southern Interior, ten youth aged 16 to 19 have been killed in crashes from June to August in the past five years.


Negotiations back on at the Highland Valley Copper mine.

For the first time since January, Highland Valley Copper and local 7619 of the United Steelworkers Union will head back to the bargaining table to try and reach a new contract next week.

Union president Kyle Wolfe says contracting out is a big issue, but at this time the union has no plans to conduct a strike vote.

"Our goal is never to strike; our goal is to get a contract."

The last contract for workers at the mine expired at the end of September.


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