Labour peace for new council

Norfolk, union approve four-year deal

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Labour unrest is one less thing the new Norfolk council has to worry about now that the county’s largest union has ratified a new four-year contract.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 4700, represents nearly 300 inside and outside workers in Norfolk County.

Rank-and-file members ratified the county’s latest offer Monday while Norfolk council approved the deal following a closed-door update Tuesday.

Bargaining began in early October. The new deal replaces a contract that expires Dec. 31.

“It was a very cordial, amicable bargaining process,” Yakov Sluchenko, Norfolk’s general manager of employee and corporate services, said Thursday.

“We arrived at something fair for the employees and we arrived at something fair for the employer.”

The contract allows for a cumulative 6.85 percent increase in wages. This includes a 1.6 percent increase in 2019, a 1.6 percent increase in 2020, a 1.75 percent increase in 2021, and a 1.9 percent increase in 2022.

Local 4700 includes a diverse group of county employees. Members range from planning staff to truck drivers, snow plow operators and water plant technicians.

Local 4700 is one of six bargaining units the county deals with.

The county recently arrived at a new deal with paramedics and settled earlier this year with public health nurses who belong to the Ontario Nurses Association.

On deck in the near future are county employees attached to the United Food &Commercial Workers Union, the Service Employees International Union, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The latter represents volunteer firefighters at Station 1 in Simcoe.