OTTAWA -- The City of Ottawa has labour peace with members of its largest union until the end of 2024, after an arbitrator awarded a new contract to inside and outside workers.

In late July, an arbitrator awarded members of CUPE Local 503, representing "inside-outside" municipal workers at Ottawa City Hall, a new five-year contract, with a wage increase.

The previous contract for the more than 6,000 members of the union expired on Dec. 31, 2019. A new deal was not reached after 25 days of negotiations between the city and CUPE Local 503 and subsequent conciliation, resulting in the city and the union entering into interest arbitration.

The arbitrator awarded salary increases for the new five-year deal retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020 until Jan. 1, 2024.  Union members will receive a 1.8 per cent salary increase in 2020, a 1.5 per cent increase in 2021, a 1.75 per cent increase in 2022, a 1.8 per cent increase in 2023 and a 2 per cent increase in 2024.

The deal also includes an additional 50 cents an hour for waste collection operators. The boot allowance for workers will increase from $185 to $225 for green patch footwear, while the allowance for safety footwear for a "lower patch level", increases from $130 to $160.

Overtime meal allowances will increase from $9 to $13.

According to the CUPE Local 503 website, bargaining will continue later this month for Ottawa Public Library workers. Contract negotiations for part-time recreation and culture employees at Ottawa City Hall will begin in September.

The Ottawa Citizen first reported the new contract for members of CUPE Local 503.