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Julliette’s Place ratifies new contract

Toronto – Workers with Julliette’s Place in Scarborough have voted unanimously to ratify a four-year tentative agreement that carries substantial wage and benefit enhancements. The workers, who belong to Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 518, had been without a contract since March 31.

“I think the vote result is a reflection of our satisfaction with the new contract,” OPSEU staff representative Kayla MacNeil‑De Sousa. “I’d have to say it was a tough round of bargaining, and the team worked long and hard to get it. But in the end, both sides arrived at reasonable solutions.”

Under the terms of the settlement, workers will see a two per cent wage hike in each of the four years, retroactive to April 1, 2017. However, workers at the top of their salary scale will receive 2.5 per cent more each year. A fixed wage grid itself forms part of the new deal.

Employees will also see a large number of improvements to their benefits, including:

  • an extra day of compassionate leave per year
  • maternity leave topped up to 75 per cent for 15 weeks
  • 50 per cent of salary paid during the Employment Insurance statutory waiting period (pregnancy)
  • 30 per cent payout from the sick bank upon leaving employment
  • new health and safety language
  • transportation allowance increased to 45 cents
  • annual tuition assistance of $1,000 per person for full-time staff and $300 for part-time staff

“The bargaining team was terrific,” MacNeil‑De Sousa added. “Their perseverance was absolutely key in getting the fair deal we have before us today. And the fuel in their engines was the members’ unfailing support.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas also expressed his pleasure with the results of the ratification vote and his appreciation for the role members played in reaching a new deal.

“The best way to make meaningful gains in the workplace is to be represented by a union, but to make the union work in bargaining takes the full support of the membership,” he said. “I think this was clearly demonstrated by the OPSEU members at Julliette’s Place, and I congratulate them for getting a great new deal.”

For more information: Kayla MacNeil-De Sousa, 416-433-7499