Children’s Aid Society workers in Ottawa represented by the
Ontario Public Service Employees Union have overwhelmingly approved a new
four-year contract that features a 5.9 per cent wage increase over the life of
the deal but without agreeing to concessions.
“We are delighted by the fact our members have approved the new
contract by a near-unanimous margin and by the fact we were able to reach an
agreement without job action,” said Chrisy Tremblay. president of OPSEU Local
454 representing more than 350 CAS workers at two locations in Ottawa.
“We have bargained quality public services
and guaranteed new permanent positions instead of temporary ones,” added
Tremblay. “This is probably the best deal in the children’s aid sector in the
last few years found anywhere in Ontario.”
Management and staff reached a tentative agreement last week
following 10 days of face-to-face bargaining. The new contract was approved last
week by members of Local 454. The previous agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2011.
Besides the 5.9 per cent wage increase over four years, other
highlights of the new contract included improvements to conditions of casual
employment, benefits and mileage allowance.
Local 454 achieved the provincial discussion
table (PDT) keeping in line the CAS sector standard.
“In this era of cutbacks and austerity the members of Local 454
and their bargaining team deserve a hearty round of applause for negotiating the
terms and conditions of their new contract,” said OPSEU president Warren
(Smokey) Thomas. “They have demonstrated clearly that our members needn’t give
up concessions and that through tough bargaining we can build strong contracts.”