First online news contract

Canoe employees have ratified what's believed to be Canada's first contract for a standalone online news site.

Employees at Canoe, part of Postmedia's Sun Media division, certified a union a year ago and have been engaged in bargaining ever since.

About two months ago, employees voted to give their bargaining committee authority to call a strike if necessary. Bargaining continued until a tentative deal was reached Monday.

Employees voted in favour of the first contract by a wide margin on Thursday. The deal gives the 15 employees 50 pages of rights that didn’t exist before, including protection from unjustified dismissal, a grievance process, scheduling rules, enshrined benefit and pension rights, job protection language and a wage grid to be implemented on May 25, 2017.

Next year, employees will get their first raise in several years and their contract expiry will be aligned with the Toronto Sun contract, giving the Canoe unit more bargaining power for future contracts.