TORONTO, March 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Unionized staff at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) are sending their bargaining team back into contract talks with a powerful strike vote in hand.
In balloting yesterday, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union voted 92 per cent in favour of strike action if negotiations fail to produce a fair collective agreement.
"Our members are fed up with this employer's attitude and they are fed up with this employer's offer," said David Lynch, chair of the OPSEU bargaining team. "Now is the time for MPAC to table a serious offer and withdraw its concession demands."
Bargaining resumes March 15. Key sticking points in the talks are termination pay, accreditation rules, benefits, and wages.
"We understand market value," said Lynch. "In fact, we're experts at it. But what MPAC is offering on wages is not even a third of what municipalities are paying these days.
"MPAC is a municipal entity, funded by municipalities," he said. "It needs to get its bargaining in line with municipal reality."
"OPSEU members at MPAC were among the first to be hit with so-called 'wage freezes' when the current age of austerity began back in 2010," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "Today, after inflation, frontline workers at MPAC still have less buying power than they had six years ago.
"I'm calling on this employer to get serious in bargaining and show some respect to the people who make MPAC work."
OPSEU represents some 1,400 staff at MPAC in offices across the province.
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Bill Gillies, OPSEU Communications, 416-807-2427