Workers walking a picket line with flags and signsAfter ten days on strike, frontline public health workers at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health have reached a tentative agreement with the board of health.

The workers’ bargaining committee resumed negotiations with management on Monday afternoon following news that their nurse coworkers, members of Ontario Nurses’ Association, ONA Local 31, ratified a collective agreement for 50 ONA members on Saturday. The nurses had been on strike for six weeks.

A ratification vote for CUPE members has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The terms of the tentative agreement will not be released publicly until workers have had a chance to review and vote on them first.

“I’m pleased we were able to finally negotiate an agreement that respects the vital care work frontline public health workers do and brings us a bit closer to meeting the rising cost of living due to high inflation,” said Kim Craig, a public health inspector and the president of CUPE 3314. “But my coworkers and I are frustrated that it took 10 days of us withdrawing our labour for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health management to get here.”

Frontline public health workers are taking down their picket lines pending ratification of their tentative agreement and plan to return to work Wednesday if they vote to accept the agreement.