Maisons de la famille workers ratify new collective agreement

PRESCOTT-RUSSELL, ON, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - OPSEU early childhood educators at Maisons de la famille have ratified a new collective agreement, and are back at work as of Friday, January 14, 2011.

A two year agreement was reached with the employer Wednesday afternoon, after a strike almost eight weeks long.

"We have reached a respectable deal," said OPSEU Staff Representative, Paul Sharkey. "These workers deserve a lot of respect for the lengths they went to for a fair deal with a very difficult employer. They are relieved to be back at work."

Key gains include close to one percent in wages for the first year, with a 3% wage increase in the second year. A compromise was reached allowing the union to challenge and limit arbitrary moving of workers from one site to another.

Yves Seguin, Director of Groupe Action, repeatedly threatened to bring in scab workers during negotiations, even going so far as to place ads for replacement workers in a community newspaper.

Through the Fiers de nos enfants programs at the Maisons de la famille, staff provide support for children aged 0 to 6 and their parents. Offering front-line education and parenting assistance to families in Prescott-Russell County, the OPSEU unit addresses the needs of several different communities.

The Maisons de la famille (Family Centres) are also known as Groupe Action pour l'enfant, la famille et la communauté de Prescott-Russell.

Worksites include three Maisons de la famille: in Hawkesbury, Embrun, and Rockland. There are also several satellite centres.


For further information:

Paul Sharkey, OPSEU Staff Representative 613-222-3450
Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications 416-557-7936


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