CNL workers sign 3-year deals

The United Steelworkers union (USW) says staff at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) have approved two new, three-year collective agreements that provide annual two per cent wage increases retroactive to June 30, 2019, when their previous contracts expired.

“Our members do important work supporting and maintaining safety in Canada’s nuclear industry. They have been extremely patient in negotiations that experienced delays mainly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marty Warren, Ontario-Atlantic director of the USW, which represents the CNL employees.

Two contracts, one for office and clerical workers and the other for utility and contamination monitors, will be in place until 2022, and include improvements to contract language.

The 300 members of USW Local 4096 reviewed the deal via video conference and cast their ballots electronically.

“Like everything else in these times, the union has to adapt while at the same time ensuring democracy in negotiations and ratification,” said Warren.

The new contracts come almost exactly one year after more than 500 technicians and technologists at CNL ratified a new collective agreement that USW said included wage increases, a new salary grid allowing for more progressive career development, and several improvements in working conditions.

Members of USW Local 1568 approved the settlement, reached with the involvement of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, last September.

USW said the contract included salary increases of 7.52 per cent over 39 months, a $1,000 signing bonus, increases in shift premiums and other improvements.

“CNL is one of the most important industries in the area,” Warren said at the time. “A good contract improves stability and is good news for the entire community.”

The agreement was retroactive to April 1, 2019 and will run until September 30, 2022.

Local 1568 signed its previous contract in the fall of 2017 for the two years April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2019.

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