TORONTO, Oct. 7, 2022 /CNW/ – OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 TSSA safety inspectors have succeeded in reaching a tentative agreement with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) following an 11-week strike.
The 170 provincial safety inspectors unionized with OPSEU/SEFPO in early 2021 to resolve a host of inequitable practices in their workplace, improve their working conditions, and have a stronger voice in their workplace. They began first contract negotiations in November 2021 and, after months of failed bargaining talks, were forced to take strike action on July 21, 2022.
“The past 11 weeks have undoubtedly been challenging, but we stood strong and kept fighting for what we knew was right – a fair deal that gives safety inspectors in all programs the resources we need to protect public safety,” said Cory Knipe, OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 TSSA bargaining team Chair. “We achieved this deal with immense support and solidarity from within our union, and the entire labour movement – from allies who joined our picket lines, organized solidarity rallies and much more. We couldn’t be more grateful.”
The TSSA safety inspectors operate under three programs – elevating devices, boilers and pressure vessels, and fuels – ensuring safety standards are upheld throughout Ontario.
The tentative agreement was reached in the early hours of October 7, after four mediation sessions with the TSSA at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The Local 546 TSSA bargaining team will be recommending that members accept the tentative agreement and are holding a ratification vote on October 8.
“What these safety inspectors showed on the picket lines was true solidarity,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell. “They came together, from all parts of the province, to organize for better working conditions and they remained united despite the TSSA’s attempts to wear them down. They’ve achieved a tentative contract that sets them on a solid path forward.”
“By standing together and harnessing the strength and solidarity of our 180,000 member strong union – its locals, committees, and entire Executive Board – TSSA safety inspectors are stronger than ever, achieving a tentative contract that will set a strong foundation for future rounds of bargaining,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “Their fight is one for all of us – for stronger public safety in our communities – and they should be proud of what they’ve achieved.”
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO)