Thunder Bay

Strike averted for Nishnawbe Aski Police Service in northern Ontario

Officers with the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service have reached a tentative agreement with their employer.
Officers with the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service have reached a tentative agreement with their employer after two days of meetings with a conciliator. (CBC)

Officers with the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service have reached a tentative agreement with their employer.

The union representing officers, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), said the deal was reached after two days of meetings with a conciliator. Those meetings were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Without a deal, the union would have been in a legal strike or lock-out position as of Friday morning.

"I am very proud of our bargaining team for all their work and to the officers who stood strong and lobbied their provincial and federal political representatives to fund First Nations policing effectively," said Sharon DeSouza, the union's Regional Executive Vice President for Ontario.

Nishawbe Aski Police serve 35 First Nations in the most northern parts of Ontario. It's funded through the First Nations Policing Program. An auditor generals report in 2014 found the program is not adequately funded and not working as intended.

Officers still need to ratify the agreement. The union said ratification meetings will be set up in the coming days. Details of the deal haven't been made public.

One of the major issues included having at least two officers stationed in each NAPS served community.

Another issue was upgrades to the telecommunication systems used by officers.

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