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OPSEU Local 597 ratifies new contract


The OPSEU Local 597 bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with Montage Support Services in Toronto late in the evening on Friday, March 30, which 87 per cent of members ratified on Sunday, April 1.

The bargaining team negotiated a contract that followed the pattern deal reached by more than a dozen OPSEU Developmental Services locals. Wage improvements and other gains were made, while the bargaining team pushed back the employer’s demand that full-time staff pay half the cost of health care premiums. The four-year contract runs from April 1, 2010 to March 30, 2014.

“This settlement sets a minimum standard for decent contracts in the Developmental Services sector. No one should be getting less,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

Local 597 president Onika Farinha said, “The incredible support of the membership meant the bargaining team was able to hold firm with the employer on key issues although, despite our attempts, we were unable to achieve better gains for our part-time staff in this round of negotiations.  Our part-time staff often work as many hours as full-time employees and they need to be recognized for their commitment.”

Frontline workers at Montage provide support services to adults with multiple disabilities in Toronto and surrounding communities.

Highlights of the settlement

  • Wage increases between 2.1 per cent to 3.5 per cent depending on their classification in each of the last two years of the contract;
  • One-time Educational stipends for 2010 and 2011;
  • Rates per kilometre match those of managers;
  • Improved bereavement leave;
  • Agreement to have a TOPPS pension plan presentation

For more information contact:

Onika Farinha- Local 597 President and Bargaining Team Member
(647) 519-5971