50 developmental services workers at Participation Lodge ratified a new collective agreement on Tuesday, November 13, with a vote of 91% in favour. They were into their ninth week of a strike when the employer came back to the table with a significantly better offer.
"Congratulations to the bargaining team who negotiated this new agreement," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "I also want to commend the entire membership of this local, who stood strong for such a long and difficult strike. They can be proud to have stood up for what they believe in. Individually and collectively these members did what it takes to protect the quality services they deliver to the people they care for in their community."
The new three year collective agreement includes a signing bonus of $300 for all employees, a general wage increase of .25 per hour in each of the years 2012 and 2013 as well as an adjustment to benefit premiums co-pay ratios.
Workers return to work on Thursday, November 15, and are covered by a return to work protocol that includes working with the Ministry of Labour over the next few weeks to improve the working environment.
"Our members have worked hard to make this agency a better place both for workers and the people they care for," said OPSEU negotiator, Paul Johnstone. "They are looking forward to an improved relationship with their employer."