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Strike that closed AGO could end as union reaches tenative deal

A labour disruption that has kept the Art Gallery of Ontario closed for a month could be nearing an end.

The union representing 400 striking workers said Thursday its bargaining team has reached a tentative deal with the gallery.

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 535 said the agreement was reached late into the night “after 16 hours of bargaining.”

Assistant curators, archivists, food and hospitality staff, researchers, instructors, carpenters, electricians and visitor service staff at the gallery began their strike on March 25, after 10 months of negotiations failed to produce a new deal.

The workers’ union said wages have not kept pace with increases in the cost of living, while there were further concerns about protections for part-time workers and contracting out positions.

Members will vote tomorrow afternoon on whether to ratify the deal. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the AGO confirmed an agreement was reached.

“We look forward to reopening the museum soon,” said Laura Quinn, director of communications for the gallery.

Quinn said updates about the reopening will be posted on the AGO’s website.

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