LONDON, ON, May 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Workers at Craigwood Youth Services are holding an information picket outside their main campus in Aisla Craig on Wednesday, March 16, 2012. They will be handing out flyers and calling for community support as they come close to two years without a contract.
| Wednesday, May 16
7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Craigwood Youth Services Main Campus
26996 New Ontario Road
Ailsa Craig, ON
"It is unacceptable that these workers are still without a contract," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "Craigwood Youth Services workers deserve a fair contract and respect from their employer."
Although the hiring standards are high and most staff have a three year post-secondary diploma or university degree, these workers receive comparatively very low wages for the work they do.
The employer is offering four years of zero percent wage increases.
"Our employer wants to kick us when we are down. A four year wage freeze is completely unacceptable," said Jonathan Guider, a bargaining team member and Chair of OPSEU Community Corrections.
"Craigwood Youth Services workers do not have WSIB coverage," said Guider. "We endure substantial risk at work. We need this employer to make a commitment to ensuring workers are safe and protected."
The employer is refusing to comply with pay equity obligations, which now go back as many as 15 years. "What is galling is that they are using their pay equity obligation as an excuse to freeze our wages. Wages and pay equity are two totally different things," said Guider.
"We are asking this employer to come back to the table with a reasonable offer. Until then they can expect workers to hold regular information pickets informing the public of what is happening in this work place."
There are 118 employees at Craigwood. Many only have part-time positions.
Craigwood Youth Services run a youth detention centre, a secure custody facility and treatment centres for high-risk youth. Workers at Craigwood are highly skilled and perform a wide range of tasks including counseling, cooking, teaching life skills, classroom support work, and handing out medication.
For further information:
Jonathan Guider, OPSEU Community Corrections Chair, Bargaining Team member and Unit Steward of Local 166 (Cell) 519-614-4937
Denise Sands, OPSEU Staff Representative (cell) 519-671-7319