OXFORD COUNTY, ON, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Members of the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union Local 133 at Canadian Mental Health Association
Oxford County Branch have rejected the employer's offer for a new
collective agreement and have voted 97 per cent in favour of strike
Tischa Forster, President of Local 133, said her members are determined
to get a contract that respects the vital work they do in communities
across the county.
"Our members are the second-lowest paid CMHA employees in the province,"
said Forster. "The employer's offer doesn't come close to the industry
norms for mental health professionals performing this work."
The employer's "comprehensive global offer" consisted of no wage
increase for two years, followed by 2 per cent in the third and fourth
year. There was also a slight increase to mileage rates and health
spending. Forster said that although the members appreciate the
economic realities, the offer doesn't come close to levelling the
playing field with other CMHAs. "We are miles behind our colleagues
across Ontario," Forster said. "Our members are grossly undervalued
considering that the services they provide are critical to this area."
Forster said the union will be looking to sit down again with the
employer in hopes of coming to an agreement.
"The last thing our dedicated, professional members want to do is take
any job action that will affect the care and services we provide to the
most vulnerable people in our communities," Forster said. "However, to
attract and keep qualified professionals we must have a contract that
is at least the equal of other CMHA employees. Our members are ready to
fight for that, because that is the only way to protect services in
The Canadian Mental Health Association Oxford County Branch provides
community care to clients who suffer severe and chronic mental illness,
court support and diversion programs, addiction support, care for
elderly persons and those with developmental disabilities that also
suffer from mental health issues, as well as operate a 24-hour
county-wide crisis line.
For further information:
Tischa Forster - 519-777-5969
Carol Warner, OPSEU Staff Representative - 519-319-1736