Provincial ferry workers accept government deal

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Provincial ferry workers have voted in favour of an agreement struck by government and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE).

MV Captain Earl W. Winsor. — Telegram file photo

According to the union, workers rejected a deal last fall. NAPE said those issues were addressed in the latest agreement.

Those who voted were not entirely in agreement about the deal. NAPE reported that 71 per cent voted to accept the deal. The union represents approximately 250 workers involved in intra-provincial ferry services.

“We are very pleased to reach this result,” said NAPE President Carol Furlong in a news release issued Monday. “We worked to address the operational issues that were causing concerns for the marine services members. In the end, we were successful in that effort, which is evident in the recent vote results for this group.”

Government said the latest agreement was reached through the conciliation process. The overtime allowance for workers will increase from $2,700 to $4,294.

It also allows government to change sailing schedules twice annually without incurring additional costs. Government hopes this will improve its ability to meet the seasonal transportation needs of communities using the ferry service.

The deal includes a pro-rated one-time payment of $1,400 for each worker and a pay increase of five per cent over the term of the agreement.

“This is a fair deal for workers, and allows our government the opportunity to improve the intra-provincial ferry service through more appropriate scheduling,” said Finance Minister Charlene Johnson in a news release.

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