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Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services workers ratify first contract

We the North
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Scarborough – Workers at Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services (SAFSS) voted yesterday to ratify the tentative agreement reached October 17.

This is SAFSS workers’ first agreement as members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). It includes a number of gains: yearly wage increases, sick days, bereavement leave for all employees, strong language to protect against contracting out, and better overtime provisions.

Bargaining Chair Valentina Khoudiakova said she is happy SAFSS workers have an agreement to protect them. “They will see wage increases for the first time in eight years, have better job security, and a better quality of work over all.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas noted that it was through strong mobilization that SAFSS workers achieved this deal.

“I’m proud of these workers,” said Thomas. “They’ve proven that even the smallest group of workers can mobilize and win better working conditions. They stood their ground through eighteen months of negotiations, and campaigned hard leading up to the strike deadline. It worked! This is unionism in action.”

OPSEU represents 48 members at SAFSS who provide a variety of services for recent immigrants, including language and skills development, newcomer settlement services, and childcare.

 

For more information: Valentina Khoudiakova, 905-889-6512, or Roz Gunn, A/Communications Officer, OPSEU, 416-708-7390