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Civilian staff at military bases in Ottawa, Kingston and Petawawa approve new contract with 13.75 per cent raise

A group of non-public fund workers of the Public Service Alliance of Canada on the picket line at the gates of Garrison Petawawa. Jan. 16, 2024. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa) A group of non-public fund workers of the Public Service Alliance of Canada on the picket line at the gates of Garrison Petawawa. Jan. 16, 2024. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa)
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Civilian military workers in Ottawa, Kingston and Petawawa will return to work after agreeing to a new contract, ending a nearly 100-day strike at the eastern Ontario military bases. 

Nearly 300 civilians at six military bases in Ontario and Quebec went on strike on Jan. 15 to back demands for a new contract, with the main sticking points being wages and job security.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says its members in Ottawa, Kingston and Petawawa voted 71 per cent in favour of the new contract.  Civilian military workers at bases in Bagotville, Montreal-St-Jean and Valcartier remain on strike after voting 80 per cent against the tentative agreement.

The new contract includes wage increases totalling 13.75 per cent over three years.

"It also includes a commitment to consult with the union on the implementation of a single national job classification for all jobs, with the goal of creating a national wage grid to close wage gaps between military bases across the country," PSAC said in a statement.

The civilian military members will return to work in Ottawa, Kingston and Petawawa over the next five days.

The unionized workers deliver food, recreation, community and financial planning services to military members and veterans.

"This settlement delivers important gains for our members after taking strike action for more than three months in the face of employer apathy, police intimidation, picket line violence, and the use of scab labour," Chris Aylward, PSAC national president, said in a statement.

"That’s why our bargaining teams brought this offer to a vote – because ultimately bargaining is led by our members, and they deserved the opportunity to cast their ballot."

A union executive was arrested during a rally outside a National Defence building in Ottawa back on Feb. 7.  PSAC was set to hold a media availability outside the Joint Intelligence Operations Centre on Star Top Road when one person was arrested by Ottawa police.

PSAC says the key sticking points in talks for workers in Bagotville, Montreal-St-Jean and Valcartier are "the significant wage gap" between NFP members and the core public service and the wage disparity between military bases in Canada.

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