TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - Unionized members of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation have voted 92 per cent in favour of strike to back contract demands and prevent employer takeaways in their current agreement. This is the first time members have had to take a strike vote since 1999.
Ivan Herrington, chair of the OPSEU bargaining team for MPAC members, says that the big issue is an employer proposal to create part-time jobs within MPAC.
"This is an ill-considered cost-saving exercise by MPAC, considering they are spending millions on consultants and giving huge raises to top-level managers," Herrington said. "Municipalities are already dissatisfied with the backlogs, and the creation of part-time jobs will only make things worse."
Herrington also said that the employer wants to slash benefits and refuses to implement fair hiring practices within the Corporation.
"We have demands on the bargaining table for modest improvements, but our biggest concerns are for what the employer is trying to take away from members," Herrington said. "We don't want a labour disruption, but this employer needs to know we are very serious about preserving our collective agreement."
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said MPAC needs to focus on improving services, not cutting jobs back to part-time. "In 2006 the Ontario Ombudsman said MPAC was grossly understaffed. MPAC needs more full-time jobs, not some scheme to introduce part-time workers."
No strike deadline has been set. Contract talks resume on March 23-24.
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: For further information: Ivan Herrington, Chair, OPSEU Negotiating Team, (613) 967-7356 (cell)