After striking for 10 days, frontline public health employees at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health have reached a preliminary agreement with their employer.
Negotiations resumed between the workers’ bargaining committee and management on Monday afternoon, following the news that their nurse colleagues, members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Local 31, had ratified a collective agreement for 50 ONA members on Saturday. The nurses had been on strike for six weeks.
A ratification vote for members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The details of the tentative agreement will remain undisclosed to the public until the workers have had an opportunity to review and vote on them.
“I am pleased that we were able to negotiate an agreement that acknowledges the essential care provided by frontline public health workers and takes a step toward addressing the challenges posed by the rising cost of living due to high inflation,” said Kim Craig, a public health inspector and the president of CUPE Local 3314. “However, my colleagues and I are frustrated that it took 10 days of us striking for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health management to reach this point.”
Frontline public health workers will dismantle their picket lines pending the ratification of the tentative agreement. If the agreement is accepted in the vote, they plan to return to work on Wednesday.