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Troubled Black River-Matheson Township, union workers reach deal

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Public sector contract negations appear to be over in Black River-Matheson, after months of tensions between the troubled township and its unionized employees.

14 municipal workers n the town of Black River-Matheson represented by CUPE Local 1490 have been on the picket line since Oct. 15. 2023. (File photo/Supplied/CUPE Local 1490)

CUPE Local 1490 posted to social media late last week that it ratified a collective agreement on Thursday – although full details have not been released to the public yet.

The 14 workers represented by the union have been on the picket line since October last year.

The two parties previously reached a tentative agreement earlier in May, the only holdout being a ‘back-to-work protocol’ that would see union workers protected from reprisal upon resuming work – as well as the dropping of any legal action on both sides.

Last month, the Ontario Government took the rare step of ousting the township’s mayor and all of council by declaring all of their seats vacant, because they failed to meet for over 60 days.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs Paul Calandra dissolved the sitting council using a section of the Municipal Act that hadn't been exercised in nearly 30 years.

Kathy Horgan, the ministry's manager of local government and housing has been appointed to make any decisions that council would make on an interim basis. Horgan will report to Calandra on the 15th and 30th of each month.

A byelection to determine the next mayor and council of Black River-Matheson has been scheduled for Aug. 12, with the nomination period set to open on June 1.

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