Unionized federal prison chaplains have ratified a contract that includes wage increases and improved working conditions.
The United Steelworkers union says the contract — the chaplains' first collective agreement — provides significant wage hikes for most employees, with pay increasing overall by nine per cent during the next year.
The agreement also addresses workplace issues including practices around expenses, employment status, seniority, promotions and job security.
The union represents about 180 chaplains from a variety of faiths and spiritual practices who provide care to federal inmates.
Chaplaincy services were curtailed last year due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in federal prisons and, as a result, chaplains turned to government-assistance programs for income support.
In 2012, the Correctional Service of Canada outsourced management of chaplaincy services to Bridges of Canada, a private charity.