A 14-week lockout between Grand Falls-Windsor and its unionized employees could be over, as both sides have reached a tentative deal, according to a statement from the union.
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1349 says details of the contract will not be made available until it has been presented to its members and they have ratified the agreement.
"The union's bargaining committee will recommend that the membership accept the tentative collective agreement, and a ratification vote will take place in the coming days," reads the statement, released Thursday evening.
CUPE national representative Ed White said the process was difficult for all sides but his union is satisfied that the changes to the agreement will serve its members, the town and residents well.
After the agreement is ratified, said White, the union will work with the town to get members back to work and to resume public services.
CUPE Local 1349 represents about 100 municipal workers employed by Grand Falls-Windsor. The union members work in recreation services, fire dispatch, administration, taxation and finance, road maintenance, water and sewage, municipal enforcement, and engineering and planning.
Employees were locked out in July following months of bargaining that failed to produce a new deal. At the time, Mayor Barry Manuel said bargaining for a new deal had begun in October 2020 but soon reached an impasse.
In a statement Friday morning, Manuel said "our goal was to reach an agreement that was fair for our organization, our employees, and our citizens, which I believe we have accomplished."
The statement didn't address any details of the deal but said it would "contribute to the fiscal sustainability" of the town.
The major roadblock, according to Manuel in July, was the workers' medical plan. Under the old collective agreement, which expired Dec. 31, the town paid 100 per cent of workers' insurance premiums.