Members of Unifor Local 302 have overwhelmingly ratified a three-year collective agreement with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, averting a possible work stoppage.
It was a challenge to reach the agreement as the Board was under pressure and direction from the Ministry of Education to maintain the economic conditions set in other collective agreements in the education sector. The leadership and the Bargaining Committee of Unifor Local 302 held strong, insisting that the economic needle must move forward and subsequently worked to find a creative solution to make that happen.
While the deal maintains the base increases that were set out in other contracts, it puts more money in the pockets of members by increasing existing allowances and creating new special allowances.
Additionally, the new collective agreement brings an increase in paid education leave along with ground breaking initiatives in employment equity and workplace inclusion, mental health in the workplace and amalgamation.
The contract also contains express provisions to deal with the fallout from the Ontario government’s infamous anti-worker Bill 115; legislation that has since been ruled unconstitutional by an Ontario court. The court directed the parties to arrive at an agreement to remedy or return to the judge for imposition.
The Bargaining Committee succeeded in including language that stipulates this agreement is entered into without prejudice to any position that the Union, or the Employer may take with respect to the impact, including that of consequences and remedy.