OTTAWA, March 22, 2018 /CNW/ - In a victory for themselves and the children they protect, the members of OPSEU Local 454 Children's Aid Society (CAS) of Ottawa have forced their employer to call off the "disrespectful and heavy-handed" final offer vote that had been scheduled for tomorrow.
"The employer realized what everybody else knew: forcing a vote before we even went into conciliation was incredibly disrespectful to us, to the children we serve, and to the entire collective bargaining process," said Chrisy Tremblay, OPSEU CAS sector vice-chair, and OPSEU Board Member.
On Tuesday, the employer made the highly unusual move of forcing a final offer vote, even though the parties were just days away from conciliation – a more positive pathway to resolving the parties' bargaining dispute.
"Today, our bargaining team showed that we're ready to negotiate a fair deal, and we're pleased to see that we've forced the employer to do the same," said Michele Thorn, president of OPSEU Local 454, and chair of the CAS bargaining team. "The employer's bullying tactics ran the risk of damaging our labour relations for some time to come."
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas was shocked by the employer's behaviour, and praised the Local 454 members for standing strong against it.
"I'm incredibly proud to be in the same union as these members," said Thomas. "It's not easy to stand up to an employer that pulls these kinds of bullying stunts, but Local 454 is staying focused on the main goal: negotiating a fair contract that will allow them to offer the best care possible to some of the most vulnerable children in Ottawa."
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Michele Thorn, 613-220-7979, Chrisy Tremblay, 613-882-7155, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931