Its not about the money - It's about respect

RENFREW, ON, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - Members of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 487 (Professional and Public Health Inspectors) will be taking a strike vote the evening of Friday, October 16, 2009.

OPSEU and the employer Renfrew County District Health Unit (RCDHU) are in negotiations for a renewed collective agreement. A conciliation meeting held on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 did not result in an agreement.

The dispute between OPSEU and the Health Unit is not about money. It's about respect. The RCDHU expects our members to take compensating time off when they work overtime. When management won't allow the scheduling of time off before year's end that compensating time is forfeited - in other words, work overtime for free.

"Promoting healthy people in a healthy environment", is the slogan of this employer. Yet they treat their employees with contempt. This employer wants to require that workers provide an appointment card from their medical practitioner if they leave the workplace for an appointment. They don't trust their employees. Staff will be expected to divulge private medical information to the employer, but must meet strict confidentiality guidelines for the patients in their care.

The RCDHU also wants to claw back vacation for staff who take pregnancy and parental leave. The Union believes this is against the law. The Employment Standards Act states an employee on one of these leaves is not required to forfeit vacation or vacation pay. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of illness, gender or family status.

OPSEU represents regulated health professionals, including home visitors, dental hygienists, health promoters, community dieticians and public health inspectors who work for the Renfrew County and District Health Unit.


For further information: For further information: Tami MacDonald, OPSEU Staff Representative, (613) 292-1034; Pat Schillemore, OPSEU Staff Representative, (613) 299-2101

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