Oakville, striking workers reach tentative agreement


Published November 10, 2023 at 8:24 am

oakville strike

The message this morning from striking workers with CUPE Local 136 in Oakville is simple and gets right to the point: “We have a tentative agreement!”

Barring a surprise turnabout at the upcoming ratification vote by union members, the eight-day strike that has shut down community centres and arena and cancelled everything from hockey games to swimming lessons is over.

“More information will be shared Friday late-morning about our ratification vote on Saturday,” read a statement from the Local 136 union executive. “For the time being, all picket actions shall cease.”

Oakville CAO Jane Clohecy, who thanked the community for their “patience” during the strike, had reached out to residents Thursday with a public message that the Town is “committed” to getting a deal done with its striking outside workers “so we can open our community centres and arenas and return to providing the programs and services you count on.”

Local 136 President Peter Knafelc had demanded the Town return to the bargaining table after talks broke down last weekend – “We’re asking for dates. We’re asking for continued discussions. We’re hearing nothing but crickets” – and got his wish Thursday evening when the two sides got back to negotiating and were able to hammer out a tentative deal.

“Both the town and CUPE 136 want a deal and have our employees return to work,” Oakville CAO Jane Clohecy said Thursday. “We have confirmed that we will be meeting with the union at the bargaining table this evening and are hopeful for a speedy resolution.”

The Town and the union had been able to agree on many of the outstanding issues related to maintaining the current use of temporary employees in Recreation and Culture and 12-hour shifts for winter operations prior to last night’s bargaining session.

Clohecy said in her message to the community Thursday she was confident those matters could be resolved.

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