TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - On November 12th OPSEU Local 511 child treatment workers at Radius SAFE-T could be locked out. The Employer can do this because it has applied for a No Board Report. The parties are scheduled to meet with the assistance of a mediator on November 9 to again try to reach a settlement.
In June the members gave the bargaining team a 100 per cent strike mandate.
"It is no surprise the workers gave such a strong strike mandate," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "This is another example of a good public program being downloaded and the workers and clients being made to suffer. And another example of why workers need strong first-contract protection."
Radius wants staff to accept a wage cut of 1.5 per cent, lose their existing pension plan, and swallow hikes in premiums for existing benefits.
Members are currently covered by the existing OPS Collective Agreement that expired on December 31, 2014. Bargaining for a first contract started at Radius in December 2014. After bargaining for 11 days, the parties reached an impasse. The parties concluded their second day of conciliation when OPSEU was advised of the No Board request by Radius.
The 19-member bargaining unit comprises Social Workers, Psychometrists and Administrative staff who provide specialized assessment and treatment services to youth and families that have experienced intra-familial sexual abuse, children who exhibit concerning sexualized behaviours, and youth who have offended sexually. The work is difficult and stressful. "Our members are proud of the work they do and they deserve to be paid fairly," said Kim Madden, Chair of the Bargaining Committee.
The SAFE-T (Sexual Abuse: Family Education and Treatment) Program, established in 1983, was downloaded from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) to a third-party transfer agency, Radius Child and Youth Services, in 2013. Since losing direct Ministry oversight, the staff has lost confidence in MCYS's assurances to safeguard the integrity of the program.
Child treatment workers at Radius SAFE-T are asking supporters to send tweets to:
1) MCYS Minister, Tracy MacCharles, @TracyMacCharles
2) Radius @RadiusChild_Yth
Please include the hashtag: #StoptheLockoutatRadius and call on Radius SAFE-T to bargain fairly.
Please also phone Radius Executive Director, Darryl Hall: 905- 825- 3242 Ext. 223
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Kim Madden, Chair Bargaining Committee, 416-453-7838; Paul I. Myers, Staff Representative/Negotiator, 416-452-8301