Winnipeg Airports Authority reaches deal with striking workers

The Winnipeg Airports Authority and the Public Service Alliance of Canada have reached a six-year agreement.

New agreement includes 10 per cent salary increase over next 6 years

The Winnipeg Airports Authority and the Public Service Alliance of Canada have reached a 6-year agreement that will bring the roughly 150 airport employees who've been on strike since July 24 back to work. (Kelly Malone/CBC)

Striking Winnipeg Airports Authority employees are heading back to work.

The authority and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents the roughly 150 striking staff, said an agreement has been reached in a joint press release Wednesday.

"First and foremost we are pleased to be able to find a deal to get our employees back to work," said Barry Rempel, WAA president and CEO, in the release. "Our priorities for this round of contract negotiations were to give WAA the stability needed to move the company forward as our industry changes and evolves. This agreement delivers on these priorities."

The employees, which included duty managers, maintenance and administrative workers from the airport, have been on strike since late July.

The workers, who are also represented by the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, have been without a contract since June 30, 2016.

The new collective agreement includes a 10 per cent salary increase over the life of the six-year deal, which expires June 30, 2022.

The new agreement also provides a health care spending account, increases to the overtime meal rate and standby pay, modernizes terminology, and removes some pre-existing redundant language in the contract, according to the joint press release.

"This is a fair agreement that addresses our members concerns," said Marianne Hladun, prairie regional executive vice-president of the PSAC, in the release. "We are so proud of our members as they prepare to get back to their work."

Prior to the strike's start, negotiators from either side were in discussions for seven consecutive days with the assistance of a federally appointed mediator, but weren't able to reach an agreement.

The strike began at 3 a.m. on July 24, when workers set up picket lines on the arrivals level at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. The two sides ended up going to court over strike tactics.