Oakville Council gives unanimous green light to new contract for outside workers

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Published November 14, 2023 at 12:55 pm

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The four-year agreement between the Town of Oakville and its outside workers and facility operators is now official after Oakville Council unanimously ratified the new deal Monday night, which will award the 285 unionized workers a 12.75 per cent wage increase over four years.

Council’s approval followed the ratification Saturday by the workers, represented by CUPE Local 136.

“I want to thank the members of our bargaining team and our union for their hard work in coming to an agreement,” said Oakville CAO Jane Clohecy. “The deal approved by Council considers the well-being of our employees, supports attraction and retention, respects taxpayers and ensures our ability to provide reliable, high-quality service to our community.”

“Getting this deal took dedication and hard work. I am proud of all our employees and the services they provide to our residents and businesses. I look forward to continuing our valuable work and providing the excellent programs and services our community has come to expect from the Town of Oakville.”

The agreement, with came after more than six months of bargaining and a strike that lasted eight days and shut down community centres and arenas and cancelled sports and recreational programming, will also provide the employees a $750 lump sum payment this year; a new healthcare spending account benefit starting in 2026; a new compassionate care leave salary top-up benefit; and increases to meal allowance, tool allowance, shift premiums, and medical note reimbursements.

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Other key outcomes achieved include enhancements to vacation entitlement, including vacation service credit for new hires and existing employees, and the addition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to the list of statutory holidays. There was also clarification on the use of temporary staffing in Recreation and Culture, 12-hour shifts for winter operations, use of stand-by and hours of work, and new market value adjustment language to assist with recruitment and retention.

CUPE Local 136 President Peter Knafelc is glad the strike is over and the workers can get back to doing what they do best.

“We look forward to reinstating services that the residents living in Oakville deserve,” he said after the union ratification vote Saturday. “We’re looking forward to delivering service levels that are second to none in the municipal sector.”

“We thank the public for their patience in the matter.”

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