OWEN SOUND, ON, July 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Employees of Participation Lodge
of Grey-Bruce, who have been working without a contract since Mar. 31,
2011, have voted 91 per cent in favour of strike action.
"The fact that more than 90 per cent of the employees handed their
bargaining team such an overwhelming strike mandate speaks strongly to
the frustration they are experiencing with an employer who doesn't seem
prepared to get down to work and negotiate a contract," said Warren
(Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees
Union which represents staff members at Participation Lodge.
Negotiations reached an impasse on June 30. The outstanding issues
include working conditions and compensation.
Participation Lodge provides supports for persons with developmental
disabilities in a long term care facility as well as assisted living
supports within the community.
The employer's current position includes a number of concessions as well
as zero per cent wage increase for the duration of the contract. The
employer insists it has no money for wage increases.
The union points out that Participation Lodge is a top heavy
organization with 11 managers supervising 50 staff members. In
addition, approximately 55 per cent of compensation costs are earmarked
for 50 unionized staff members, leaving 45 per cent of the remaining
salary dollars going to those 11 managers.
Working conditions at Participation Lodge are also plagued by extremely
low morale, unfavourable scheduling, and several examples of nepotism
and favouritism. The result has left employees feeling undervalued and
Recent settlements in both the developmental services sector as well as
in the long term care sector have resulted in wage increases at a
number of agencies and workers at Participation Lodge are demanding
Workers at Participation Lodge are asking that that the employer value
their work and recognize the value and importance of their contribution
to the community. They are dedicated to servicing the needs of the
people and families they support and they are only asking for respect
By its overwhelmingly strong strike mandate, OPSEU members have sent a
strong message to management that they are prepared to do whatever it
takes to support their bargaining team and reach a resolution to this
The parties are scheduled to return the bargaining table with a
conciliation officer on Monday July 23.
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information:
Andrea McCormack, OPSEU Staff Representative - 519-379-7159