OPSEU, province reach tentative agreement

The Ontario government announced Saturday it had reached a tentative four-year collective agreement with its employees.
“This agreement is a significant step in resolving some long-standing inequities in the public service,” said OPSEU president Leah Casselman.
According to an OPSEU press release, details of the tentative agreement include:
•wage increases totalling 9.75 percent over four years (most of the province’s 4,500 correctional officers will receive an added step of three percent);
•a drug card for all employees who receive benefits;
•rolling more than 1,400 casual “unclassified” workers into permanent jobs, with access to benefits; and
•an agreement to reduce the use of unclassified employees over the term of the contract.
OPSEU members across the province will vote on the deal June 21-23.
Joe Barron, OPSEU staff rep for Region 7, said information meetings for staff began yesterday and will continue until the voting begins.
He said he could not comment on member reaction because they had not yet seen what was contained in the agreement.
Here in Fort Frances, members will have their information meeting on Monday and then vote on Tuesday.
“We are a new government with a new approach,” said Management Board chairman Gerry Phillips.
“We inherited a damaged relationship and, thanks to open lines of communication, are building a strong relationship with our employees to deliver better public services to the people of Ontario,” he added.
OPSEU represents 42,000 government employees who work in a variety of positions.