SSI and union reach tentative deal

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NEW GLASGOW – Twenty-two striking workers with Summer Street Industries will return to work this coming week.  

Nan McFadgen, president of CUPE Local 2330,  said Summer Street Industries and the Department of Community Services have “stepped forward” and a tentative deal was reached early Friday afternoon.

“The members are ecstatic,” she said. “The picket line is not a happy place.”

Members of the CUPE Local 2330 walked off the job Thursday morning after failing to settle two outstanding funding issues with the Department of Community Services. CUPE said that Workers Compensation Board top-ups and premiums for shift workers were agreed to by the Department of Community Services during separate provincial negotiations, but the province said this wasn’t the case.

After negotiating until 5 a.m. Thursday morning, Summer Street Industries management and CUPE negotiators settled all their issues and thought a strike was behind them until the union was informed that DCS had not agreed to the WCB tops or premiums for shift workers.

McFadgen wouldn’t disclose the details of the tentative agreement because she wanted the union’s members to see it first. She would only say that “DCS has come forward to help resolve the issue.”

She said the tentative deal will be shown to the members Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and a ratification vote will be taken shortly afterwards.

“Our members will be back to work on Tuesday morning as a good faith gesture and we will ratify the agreement after work that day,” she said. “The vote is being taken afterwards so that it doesn’t disrupt the lives of the clients. We are confident that will pass.”

Bob Bennett, executive director of Summer Street Industries, confirmed that the strike was over, commenting only on the fact that CUPE and Summer Street Industries have reached an agreement.

Organizations: Street Industries, CUPE Local 2330, Community Services Workers Compensation Board

Geographic location: NEW GLASGOW

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