Oshawa, CUPE strike deal with inside workers

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Published July 10, 2023 at 4:05 pm

City of Oshawa staff from Local 251 (inside workers) and Local 250 (outside workers) at Lakeview Park on Canada Day

More than 300 inside workers with the City of Oshawa have a new contract after a closed camera meeting at City Hall Monday morning.

The renewal agreement, which will expire on December 31, 2025, includes modest benefit increases and wage increases of 3.0 per cent, effective January 1, 2023; 2.5 per cent on January 1, 2024; and 2.5 per cent for January 1, 2025.

“We value our employees and greatly appreciate the hard work that they do to deliver quality programs and support services to the Oshawa community,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter in a statement. “On behalf of City Council, I am pleased that we came to a fair agreement and can continue to provide excellent service delivery.

CUPE Local 251 represents approximately 310 municipal staff across the City in Information Technology, Finance, at Service Oshawa and Municipal Law Enforcement. Also represented by CUPE are various inside support services throughout City Hall and other City facilities, including inside workers at recreation facilities and OSCC55+ centres. The most recent collective agreement with CUPE Local 251 expired on December 31, 2022.

It is not clear what the chief areas of concern were during negotiations, but the national CUPE body has been fighting against the contracting out of services by many municipalities and what CUPE calls “precarious” jobs, which are held by one-quarter of all members.

“We must resist concessions, two-tier contract provisions, and precarious work. If a contract provision is not good enough for our current members, it is not good enough for the next generation of workers,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock.

Next up for Oshawa will be the Local 250 outside workers (sanitation workers, parks staff, etc.), who will be without a contract December 31.

“It’s time for a fair deal for workers who keep this City running and that starts today with 251 inside workers,” a statement from Local 250 prepared before this morning’s meeting at City Hall declared. “251 members work along side us everyday and provide valuable services to the citizens of Oshawa. Throughout the pandemic both unions worked hard to minimize service disruptions, keep residents safe and still provide high quality services. Together we keep this city running.”

“We support them in this fight for a better wages, improved working conditions and a fairly negotiated deal. As we know they will for us when our contract expires in December.”

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