After more than three years without a contract and a difficult round of bargaining, PSAC has reached a tentative agreement with the National Arts Centre after marathon negotiation sessions.
Members from the Operations and Ushers/Box Office groups held a strike vote last week, voting overwhelmingly to take strike action. The bargaining teams previously declared impasse and undertook a conciliation period, but the strike vote helped motivate progress at the bargaining table.
“It shouldn’t have to come down to a strike vote, and I am in awe of these members’ courage and resolve,” said Alex Silas, PSAC’s Regional Executive Vice-President for the National Capital Region. “It wasn’t easy voting to take strike action after two years of pandemic-related closures. But facing inflation and a rough couple of years meant they were serious about achieving a fair deal.”
A full explanation of the new agreement and a copy of the new language will be provided over the coming weeks and members will vote on whether they wish to ratify the agreement. Ratification vote dates will be announced shortly.
“I am immensely proud of UNE members at the NAC, who in spite of the challenges of the past few years fought so hard,” said Kevin King, President of the Union of National Employees. “It’s been a lot of uncertainty these past two years especially, but members were patient, our teams were strategic, and this helps set a precedent in the arts and culture sector for workers looking for a fair recovery.”