Niagara Parks Collective Agreement: Understanding the Latest Development

The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) is an agency of the Ontario government responsible for overseeing the management of the renowned Niagara Falls. The NPC was established in 1885 and has since evolved to become one of the most visited tourist destinations in North America.

Recently, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) in partnership with NPC ratified a new collective agreement. The agreement, which covers 461 unionized employees at the NPC, was ratified on June 12, 2020, after months of negotiations. The agreement will be in effect for three years, running from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2022.

The new collective agreement will impact employees across various categories, including park attendants, gardeners, mechanics, administrative positions, and more. Some of the significant highlights of the agreement include:

– Wage Increases: Unionized employees at the NPC will see a salary increase of 1.5% in 2020, 1.75% in 2021, and 1.9% in 2022.

– Job Security: The agreement stipulates that no employee will involuntarily lose their job due to contracting out or privatization of NPC services.

– Pension: The agreement includes an increase in the employer’s contributions to the Employees’ Pension Plan.

– Vacation: Vacations have been increased to five weeks for employees with ten or more years of service.

– Health and Dental Benefits: The agreement includes improvements to health and dental benefits, including vision care, hearing aids, and orthodontics for dependents.

The new collective agreement will provide more substantial benefits and job security for employees at the NPC. OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said, “This agreement ensures that the workers who keep the Niagara Parks running will receive a fair wage for the work they do, and their jobs are protected. It’s a win for everyone involved.”

The NPC is a significant tourist attraction that contributes significantly to the economy of the Niagara region. The collective agreement ensures that the employees who work tirelessly to maintain and operate the park receive just compensation and job security. The agreement also ensures that the NPC can continue to provide an excellent experience to visitors while working towards fiscal responsibility.

In conclusion, the latest development in the Niagara Parks collective agreement is significant news for the park employees, the NPC, and the Niagara region as a whole. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the OPSEU and the NPC in working towards a mutually beneficial agreement. Tourists visiting the park can enjoy the beauty and splendor of Niagara Falls knowing that the employees who make it all possible are receiving a fair wage and job security.