Strike averted for thousands of Region of Waterloo public service workers
A strike has been averted for more than 1,000 of Waterloo Region's public service workers.
Just hours before a midnight deadline, a deal has been reached with one of the two unions involved and talks are being extended with another.
CUPE 1883, which represents more than 900 indoor employees, announced Friday evening it had reached a deal with the region.
CUPE 5191, which covers paramedics, has agreed to extend their talks to next week.
The unions and the region have been in talks for months.
Recently, negotiations became heated after the union accused the Region of Waterloo of union-busting when regional officials sent an email to employees saying they won't be stopped from working if they chose to cross the picket line.
According to the union, the main sticking points boil down to heavy workloads, job security and mental health concerns.
In a release issued Friday night, the indoor workers with CUPE 1883 say they have been able to find common ground on those issues. The deal for indoor workers still needs to be ratified by the membership.
“We have had a very tough round of bargaining but thanks to the solidarity among our membership, the support of our sister local CUPE 5191 and the public, we were able to secure a fair deal," union president Noelle Fletcher said in a release. "While this round of bargaining is over, our quest to improve public services in the Region of Waterloo continues.”
The paramedic group, CUPE 5191, says they have made good progress and will continue talks next week.
“Our local continued talks with the employer yesterday (after negotiations on Tuesday). We remain optimistic and committed to getting a deal done, and to avoid any interruptions of the vital service we provide to the community," union president Luke McCann said in a release. "If this momentum stalls, or our talks hit an impasse we remain prepared to consider our options, with the full support of our membership and the surrounding paramedic unions.”
Both updates mean there will be no strike this weekend.
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