KINGSTON, ON, Nov. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Board Members at Kingston's St. Lawrence Youth Association will hear directly from Youth Justice Workers that community safety begins with a safe and respectful workplace that values its staff. Staff will hold an information picket on Wednesday, November 26, outside the Board of Directors' meeting.
Negotiations broke down in October and conciliation has been booked for December 16. The staff have voted 93% in favour of a strike should one become necessary.
Event: Information Picket
Date: Wednesday, November 26
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Place: 845 Division Street, Kingston
"St. Lawrence Youth Association must put worker safety first, and show some respect for their staff," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "It is simply not acceptable to put workers at risk just to save a buck."
Staff work with high-risk young offenders, and are often the victims of physical and verbal assault. The Local reports that there have been more that 60 separate assaults in the workplace so far during 2014. Extra staff requests are frequently denied.
"We work hard and are proud of the work we do every day," said OPSEU Local President and bargaining team member, Shannon Russell. "It's time for this employer to recognize the value of frontline services and make them a priority."
Staff have received a total of $1.12 in increased wages in the past 13 years: The last wage increase they saw was six years ago.
OPSEU represents 67 staff members at the St. Lawrence Youth Association, which provides community support services, an intensive support and supervision program, as well as an open and a secure detention facility for young offenders. The current contract expired in March 2013.
SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Shannon Russell, OPSEU Local 427 President, and bargaining team member: 613-876-6160; Cindy Filman, OPSEU Local 427 Vice-President: 613-542-5814, 613-840-5390; Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 1-800-268-7376 x8714, [email protected]