After a strike lasting 11 weeks, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union representing TSSA inspectors, say they have reached a tentative agreement.
In a statement posted to its website on Friday, the TSSA said a ratification vote will take place, and, if it passes, the inspector strike will come to an end.
TSSA President and CEO Bonnie Rose said she is “looking forward to welcoming our inspectors back so we can deliver safety in Ontario as one team.”
The 170 provincial safety inspectors took strike action on July 21 after failed bargaining talks.
Cory Knipe, OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 TSSA bargaining team chair, said the last 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.”
OPSEU/SEFPO said the TSSA safety inspectors operate under three programs: elevating devices, boilers and pressure vessels and fuels.
They ensure safety standards are “upheld throughout Ontario,” OPSEU/SEFPO said in a news release.
According to OPSEU/SEFPO, the tentative agreement was reached “in the early hours” of Friday.
“The Local 546 TSSA bargaining team will be recommending that members accept the tentative agreement and are holding a ratification vote on October 8,” OPSEU/SEFPO said in a news release.
OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick said “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.”
Hornick said they should be “proud of what they’ve achieved.”
OPSEU/SEFPO first vice-president and treasurer Laurie Nancekivell said the safety inspectors showed “true solidarity” on the picket lines.
“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,” Nancekivell said in a statement. “They’ve achieved a tentative contract that sets them on a solid path forward.”