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New Path workers reach last-minute deal

Barrie – Negotiators for the therapists, counsellors, and child and youth workers at New Path Youth and Family Services have reached a tentative settlement with the employer. The 86 staff at the child and youth mental health agency belong to Local 332 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). They would have been in a legal strike or lockout position as of Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Talks had stalled with the employer, who was offering $700 gift cards in lieu of the modest wage hike workers had sought.

“We were asking for a small cost-of-living increase,” said bargaining team chair Scott Stratton. “I’m glad we were finally able to convince the employer that $700 was not the right way to compensate staff for their long hours and dedication to their work.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said he was very proud of Local 332.

“This employer tried to play hardball, but workers refused to cave in to stonewalling and intimidation tactics. When the employer saw that workers were determined to get a deal that respected their professionalism and commitment, they came back to the table at the 11th hour. I applaud the resolve and courage shown by these members.”

The tentative deal will now go to the workers for a ratification vote. Further details on the date and details of the agreement are forthcoming.

For more information: Greg McVeigh, OPSEU staff representative, 705-238-0511

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