Overtime should be paid on time



    YELLOWKNIFE, Aug. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Members of the Public Service
Alliance of Canada have been illegally locked-out at the Bosco Homes
Trailcross Center in Fort Smith, NWT. The workers had been asking for their
overtime to be paid on time, according to the Union of Northern Workers (UNW)
which represents the workers. Currently employees of the Centre are owed
between $2,000 and $10,000 in overtime and cannot get it until the end of the
fiscal year.
    "This situation is totally unacceptable and we'll do everything we can to
correct it," said Gayla Wick, First Vice-President of UNW during a speech in
Yellowknife given today at a demonstration in support of the locked-out
workers.
    The workers have been without a collective agreement for 17 months and
have been trying unsuccessfully to negotiate a new contract. One of the main
contentious issues at the bargaining table is payment of overtime. Workers are
regularly asked to work more than 10 hours of overtime a week. Management
wants to maintain the practice of paying overtime once a year, while the
employees are demanding a regular schedule of payments.
    Wick said it is unacceptable to ask those workers to wait a full year for
money that they have earned. She believes that by delaying the payment of
overtime, management gets an interim type of funding for the Center's
activities.
    "Our members perform a very important service for the youth of the North
and their families. Their wages are already very low and it is unfair to ask
them to subsidize the Center. They are entitled to a regular schedule of
overtime payment."
    For Jean-François Des Lauriers, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President,
North, the time has come for the government of Northwest Territories to
provide adequate funding for not-for-profit organizations like the Bosco Homes
Trailcross Center.
    "Our members are committed to provide an excellent service to the
children," he said. "But they should not have to do it for a non-living wage."
    The workers are also asking to be paid for all the hours they work and
they want the articles of the Canada Labour Code on sexual harassment and
compassionate care leave to be included in their collective agreement.
    The PSAC filed a complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board on
August 8th, 2007 to protest the actions of Bosco Homes Trailcross.




For further information:

For further information: Barbara Wyness, Union of Northern Workers,
(867) 873-5668, ext. 225


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