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New four-year deals bring labour peace to town employees

Town Hall 1 | Oakville Town Hall | M Painchaud
Town Hall 1 | Oakville Town Hall | M Painchaud

A deal between the town and its outside workers, represented by Local 136 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), has now been ratified.

The 285 workers, who shuttered recreational programs and road works during an eight-day strike earlier this month, ratified the four-year agreement last Saturday, Nov. 11. Town councillors voted unanimously to ratify the deal at their Nov. 13 meeting this week.

Agreement with the outside workers, who work in the town’s parks, road operations, cemeteries and recreation facilities, follows on the heels of a very similar deal with its 357 inside workers.

Those employees, represented by CUPE 1329, reached a deal with the town at the end of October.

Both agreements contain:

  • Wage increases worth 12.75 per cent over four years
  • A $750 signing bonus
  • Benefit enhancements, including the introduction of a compassionate care leave salary top-up benefit
  • Designation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday

"We look forward to reinstating services that the residents living in Oakville deserve and we’re looking forward to delivering service levels that are second to none in the municipal sector," said Pete Knafelc, president of CUPE Local 136.

The deal with the outside workers also increases meal and tool allowances and shift premiums, while adding a new healthcare spending account starting in 2026.

Changes to vacation service credits for new hires and new market value adjustment language aim to help the town attract and retain staff. Like other employers, it has struggled with staffing levels since the pandemic.

In 2022, the town experienced an employee turnover rate of 9.7 per cent, according to recent budget documents. This year it is hoping to see that number decline to about seven per cent.

Prior to the pandemic, the annual turnover rate averaged between three and five per cent.

"The deal approved by council considers the well-being of our employees, supports attraction and retention, respects taxpayers and ensures our ability to provide reliable, high-quality service to our community," said Jane Clohecy, CAO for the Town of Oakville.

"Getting this deal took dedication and hard work. I am proud of all our employees and the services they provide to our residents and businesses."