Timmins CMHA workers reach tentative agreement

Deal reached hours before strike deadline

Canadian Mental Health Association workers in northeastern Ontario reached a tentative contract on April 1 less than six hours before they would have been in a legal strike position.

Details of the tentative contract will be withheld pending the outcome of a ratification vote scheduled for April 8.

The previous contract expired on Aug. 31, 2013, and the parties have been in bargaining since March 2014. Wage parity and job security were at the heart of the dispute for the more than 100 affected employees.

The workers — represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 631 — are employed in Timmins and other centres in northeastern Ontario, including Matheson, Kirkland Lake and Englehart.

The affected employees include frontline workers, nurses and support staff.

“I applaud members of Local 631 and their bargaining team for reaching a deal before the strike deadline,” said OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Mental health workers are key health care providers in all communities and it’s satisfying to know their clients in the northeast will continue to receive the professional services our members provide.”

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