OPSSU rejects tentative agreement with OPSEU, votes in favour of strike action if necessary

TORONTO, July 18, 2016 /CNW/ - The Ontario Public Service Staff Union (OPSSU), the union representing staff of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), voted on July 16, 2016 by a 68% majority to reject a tentative agreement and in favour of strike action should that be necessary.

Following a presentation by the bargaining team recommending the deal, OPSSU members gave a strong message that it falls short of an acceptable offer.

Prior to the vote, members addressed key issues in the tentative agreement including the failure to address high levels of non-compensated overtime, inadequate language around the issue of workplace harassment and the length of the proposed four-year deal. Speakers were clear that this is not the time to lock into a long agreement, which would delay the ability to address important issues at the bargaining table. 

OPSSU First Vice-President Pati Habermann thanked the bargaining team for their hard work, and emphasized that they have received a strong mandate to return to the table. "With thanks to our team for their many hours of negotiations on our behalf, today our members have clearly shown that they have lost confidence in the employer, and will not tolerate the current lack of respect."

"Our employer cannot buy labour peace with a four-year deal. Our members have indicated clearly that this tentative agreement is unacceptable," said Habermann. "OPSSU is committed to improving the workplace for all staff."

OPSSU has not voted down an agreement in 20 years. The current collective agreement expired on June 30, 2016.

OPSSU represents permanent, part-time, contract/temporary and on-call workers at OPSEU's head office in Toronto and at 19 regional OPSEU offices across Ontario. Staff provide a wide range of services to more than 130,000 OPSEU members.

SOURCE Ontario Public Service Staff Union (OPSSU)

For further information: Cameron Walker, OPSSU President: cwalker@opssu.ca; Pati Habermann, OPSSU 1st Vice-President: phabermann@opssu.ca; www.opssu.ca

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