LONDON, ON, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Craigwood Youth Services workers are holding an information picket outside the Ministry of Children and Youth Services London office on Friday, June 8, 2012. They will be demanding that Minister Eric Hoskins commit to the funding this community needs to support our youth.
DATE: Friday June 8, 2012
TIME: 12 noon to 5 p.m.
PLACE: Ministry of Children and Youth Services regional office
ADDRESS: 217 York Street, London Ontario
"Frontline workers are key to providing the services this province depends on," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "We are calling on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to ensure that adequate funding is in place for this sector."
The employer is offering workers at Craigwood four years of zero percent wage increases. Refusing to comply with pay equity obligations, which are now many years in arrears, Craigwood is using their pay equity obligation as an excuse to freeze wages.
Staff recently held an information picket outside a Board meeting and were able to speak with the Board members regarding their ongoing lack of a contract. Craigwood Executive Director, Lothar Liehmann, responded with a letter to all staff on the behalf of the Board.
The letter says: "Contrary to what the union delegation said at the board meeting, those staff we met displayed a love of what they do, an enthusiasm for their programming, and a real sense that they had a lot of leeway to be creative." The letter also praises "…the easy, trustful relationship between staff and senior admin. Great rapport."
"Yes, we love what we do," says Jonathan Guider, a bargaining team member and Chair of OPSEU BPS Corrections. "That is why we come to work every day." "The Executive Director wants to persuade everyone that everything is fine. We've been without a contract for two years now, and there is still no sign that he is ready to go back to the table with a fair contract for staff. This has gone on long enough."
There are 118 employees at Craigwood. Many only have part-time positions.
Craigwood Youth Services runs a secure youth detention/custody facility, community schooling and treatment programs, and several residential treatment centres for high-risk youth. Youth Workers at Craigwood are highly skilled professionals who perform a wide range of tasks including individual and group counseling, cooking, teaching life skills, classroom support work, and distribution of medication.
For further information:
Jonathan Guider, OPSEU BPS Corrections Chair, Bargaining Team member and Unit Steward of Local 166 (Cell) 519-614-4937
Denise Sands, OPSEU Staff Representative (cell) 519-671-7319