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Whitby workers sign agreement with town to formally end strike

Whitby workers have ratified an agreement with the town, formally ending a month-long strike that saw garbage collection suspended and libraries close.

According to a statement, the three-year agreement includes a 9.5 per cent wage increase over three years, an increase to shift premiums, an increase of personal days from three to four and significant benefit improvements.

It also allows workers to take the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid holiday.

“We strongly believe that the town’s offer is a fair one that balances the needs of our workforce and growing community,” officials said in a news release on Wednesday.

“The town is now working to resume programs and services and will continue to provide updates through the website and social media.”

In October, about 300 members of CUPE Local 53 took strike action after being unable to come to an agreement with the Town of Whitby. As a result, municipal facilities, recreation programs and services, as well as in-person customer service desks, were closed.

Some other services and programs were suspended or modified.

At the time, a union representative said that wages were not the sticking factor in negotiations. Rather it was “life-work balance.”

“When your schedule changes on short notice and the changes are imposed, it doesn’t allow those things to happen … and it has eroded a work-life balance that the employees in Whitby have worked to get for many years, and to take it all away, is not fair.”

Curbside and public space waste pickup is expected to begin again on Thursday, with the temporary waste drop-off sites closing as of 8 p.m. on Nov. 15.

All town facilities and programs will also resume on Nov. 16, although the recreation programming will begin in a phased approach. Top Stories

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