Ontario government workers set to begin negotiating new collective agreement

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Bargaining teams representing 36,000 direct employees of the Ontario government will meet with government representatives for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 13 to begin talks for a new collective agreement.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said this contract is about protecting quality public services for all Ontarians.

"Public jobs make public services work," said Thomas. "The people of Ontario have learned an expensive lesson with eHealth, Ornge and private ServiceOntario kiosks. Privatizing public services is a failed experiment that results in less accountability and public dollars going into the pockets of private business as profits."

45 different events will be held across the province on Nov. 13 for OPSEU members to support their bargaining teams and send a message that services must be protected.

"Our collective agreement is a barrier to the government from completely dismantling the services Ontarians rely on," said Thomas. "This isn't about wage freezes or concessions. This is about the future of our province, and protecting accountable, reliable and cost-effective services."

OPSEU represents all Ministry employees who work directly for the Ontario government. The current collective agreement expires Dec. 31, 2012.

Local bargaining kick-off events are listed below.

For more information on the events, contact the local organizers listed.

Windsor: Mickey Riccardi, 226-787-1729

Woodstock ODSP, ServiceOntario, Courthouse, and Stratford Jail and Courthouse: Todd Snider, 519-498-0787

London: Lorna Bulgin, 519-719-9822

Milton: 6 a.m. - 8 a.m., Maplehurst Correctional Complex and Vanier Centre for Women: Paula Hagen, 519-807-4800

Peterborough: 11:30 a.m., march to MPP Jeff Leal's office, 236 King St., Peterborough: Sean Platt, 905-376-4909

Barrie & Orillia: Lisa Egan, 705-791-9207

Oshawa: 40 King St. W., 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.: Theresa Rolls, 289-356-4121

Lindsay: Central East Correctional Centre, Courthouse, ServiceOntario, Chris Butsch, 705-340-3836

Penetanguishene: Central North Correctional Centre: Chris Jackel, 705-717-5936

Ottawa: 12 noon, 347 Preston: Dylan Linegar, 613-720-4832

Ottawa: 7 a.m. - 10 a.m., Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre: Ron Pilon, 613-293-6581

Renfrew: Ben Treidlinger, 613-570-0617

Belleville: ODSP and ServiceOntario: Pam Smith, 613-968-0792

Kingston: Local 468 Office, 275 Bagot St., Rm 307: Ryan Nickel, 613-876-5013

Toronto: 8 a.m. - 9 a.m., 900 Bay Street, southwest corner of Bay and Wellesley: Julius Arscott, 647-728-9143, **OPS Central/Unified Bargaining Team will attend**.

Toronto: 11 a.m., Toronto Jail, 550 Gerrard St. E.: Rob McMillan, 416-578-3397, **Corrections Bargaining Team and MPP Peter Tabuns will attend**.

Sault Ste. Marie: Noon - 1 p.m., rally outside MPP David Orazietti's office, 432 Great Northern Rd: Janice Zultek 705-943-3007, Mike Bisaillon, 705-492-8818

Thunder Bay: 11:45 - 1:30 p.m., rally and food drive, 435 James St.: Neil MacDonald, 807-474-9501


For further information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas: 613-329-1931
Don Ford, OPSEU Communications: 416-448-7442

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