06/22/2017 19:54 EDT | Updated 06/23/2017 05:01 EDT

One OPSEU unit accepts new contract; a second rejects deal

TORONTO — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says its members working in the Ontario public service have ratified a tentative contract, but correctional staff represented by the union have rejected a similar agreement.

OPSEU says the union and the provincial government signed both tentative agreements on June 2 — one covering 8,000 correctional workers and the others covering 27,000 workers in the public service.

The public service workers voted 81.7 per cent in favour of their four-year agreement while correctional members voted 94.7 per cent against theirs.

The four-year public service agreement includes a 7.5 per cent wage hike over the life of the deal, improved benefits and an end to what OPSEU calls a "dysfunctional" attendance support and management program.

Union executive Mickey Riccardi says the agreement gives members "meaningful compensation hikes and new benefits, including catastrophic drug and out-of-country medical coverage."

Fellow union executive Monte Vieselmeyer says the correctional bargaining team will meet with the province "as soon as possible to begin work on a new deal."

Vieselmeyer notes that since correctional workers cannot go on strike, outstanding issues will go to an arbitrator if no agreement is reached.