CHATHAM, ON, June 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Workers in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, will hold an information picket over the government's refusal to bargain a fair collective agreement.
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: 234 Grand Avenue West
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that at the same time that the Wynne Liberals are slashing funding for much-needed public services, they are wasting billions on private sector contracts and spending billions more on corporate tax cuts.
"After years of austerity, Premier Kathleen Wynne is demanding that the public service accept more wage freezes, cutbacks and concessions," Thomas said. "Government negotiators at the bargaining table appear they would rather push the OPS into a strike than negotiate a fair deal with their employees."
OPSEU southwestern Ontario Vice-President Ron Elliot said that the union has repeatedly told Premier Kathleen Wynne that OPS members can provide these services better and cheaper than the private sector, which has been affirmed by Ontario's Auditor General. Despite this, that message is not filtering down to the bargaining table.
"Reports indicate that the Wynne government has either wasted or overspent more than $8.2 billion dollars on private contracts and corporations," Elliot said. "Imagine what this province could do with that money. If Wynne really wants to save public money and deliver public quality services, stopping privatization and outsourcing is the first place to start."
Members are holding demonstrations to get that message across. "The Premier needs to take action and direct her negotiators to reach a fair agreement with those who provide crucial services in this province," Elliot said. "That would be in the best interest of all Ontarians."
OPSEU represents all frontline Ministry employees who work directly for the Ontario government. The current collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2014.
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Debbie Riopelle, 1st Vice-President Local 154: (226) 787-9116