Workers at The Sault Star have ratified a new collective agreement that gives them wage gains after many years of zero or minuscule increases.
The 12 members of CWA Canada Local 30746, the Sault Ste. Marie Typographical Union, who work in editorial, advertising and reader sales and service, will receive a one-per-cent increase in each of the three years of the contract that runs until August 2024.
In addition, said David Wilson, the CWA Canada staff representative who led the negotiations that wrapped up last Thursday, the top rate for editorial staff will be bumped up by $25 a week. This will bring them closer to parity with their unionized colleagues at two other Postmedia-owned newspapers, the Sudbury Star and North Bay Nugget.
The workers, who held a ratification vote on Monday evening, also gain an additional paid day off (floater) and improvements in the mileage rate. All staff, who now work from home after the company closed the paper’s public office, will also receive a one-time payment of $300 to cover equipment costs.
Wilson noted that, because the Local has a Cost of Living (COLA) clause in its contract, each member was paid $300 in August. The COLA is reviewed annually and kicks in when inflation exceeds a certain amount.
The Sault Star Local, led by president Elaine Della-Mattia, has a reputation for being plucky. When they last reached a collective agreement, in January 2019, the unionized staff had spent two years standing up to Postmedia, successfully fought off concession demands and made some significant gains.