SUDBURY, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - More than 230 OPSEU members at Community Living Greater Sudbury (CLGS) could be in a legal strike position as soon as midnight, Sunday April 7. Mediation has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 2.
The union is calling for a commitment to progressive reduction of part-time and casual jobs. Only 50 staff are currently full-time, while the rest struggle with part-time and casual work.
"This is a quality services issue, but it's also about quality of life. " said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "More than two thirds of the CLGS workforce is part-time or casual. The frontline staff should be able to afford to work there."
Another key issue at the table is the scheduling of shifts, which are frequently long and unpredictable to compensate for an inadequate number of relief staff.
"Frontline staff are dedicated to our work and our clients, but there need to be some improvements in shifts and hours for us to be able to do our jobs well," said June St. Germain, OPSEU Local 676 Bargaining Team Chair.
A majority of these workers are female and part-time. There is no pension plan, 80 per cent are without benefits and there has been no acceptable wage increase since 2008.
So far the employer has demonstrated little willingness to bargain a fair and just contract and expect staff to wait another two years before considering a wage hike. That would amount to a 15-cent an hour wage increase over six years, which the employees are not willing to accept.
For further information:
June St. Germain, OPSEU Local 676 Bargaining Team Chair: 705-691-2164
Norm Pilon, OPSEU Negotiator: 705-918-5616