Art Gallery of Ontario to reopen April 30 following strike

The Art Gallery of Ontario is set to reopen next week after striking workers ratified a new collective agreement on Friday.

Officials of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 535 say 85 per cent of the more than 400 workers, including curators, designers, technicians, and front desk staff, voted in favour of the deal which was reached after a one-month strike which closed the museum.

The new deal, which is retroactive to December 2022 and runs until November 2025, includes an 11.4 per cent wage increase for full-time and part-time workers which includes a one per cent wage reopener retroactive to Dec. 1, 2021. There are also improvements to meal allowances, shift premiums, and bereavement leave for full-time employees as well as the establishment of a joint committee aimed at reducing third-party contracting out of part-time labour.

“This agreement opens important doors in the fight against encroaching and long-standing precarity at the Art Gallery of Ontario,” said JP Hornick, the newly re-elected President of OPSEU/SEFPO. “It’s a product of workers’ creativity and perseverance on the line. As the first ever strike at the gallery comes to a close, we hope that an important lesson has been instilled in the AGO: workers are ready to fight for their future and – if necessary – we will shut it down.”

Art Gallery officials say the museum will reopen at 10:30 a.m. on April 30 while the AGO Bistro will open for lunch and dinner service on May 1.

Admission to the museum is free for all Ontarians under the age of 25, AGO members and $40 AGO Annual Pass holders while single ticket admission is $30.

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