The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre Labour Relations Update

OTTAWA, Jan. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Salvation Army continues to make the safety and security of the vulnerable clients we serve our primary concern.  We will continue to meet the needs of our clients in the unfortunate event that strike action is taken among our 60 unionized employees at The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre.

The Salvation Army does not want to see the union take strike action. We value our employees and the important contribution they make in caring for our clients which is why we have developed an equitable and fair offer for our unionized employees which provides a 7.5% increase over 3 years in addition to a signing bonus of $500 for full-time employees ($250 for part-time) and 2 additional bereavement days requested by the union - an offer which is retroactive to April 1, 2011.  The offer, which was tentatively agreed to by PSAC negotiators on November 16th, 2011 and publically endorsed by PSAC as "a fair settlement for the workers" was later rejected by union members.

Comparisons with similar facilities to The Salvation Army Booth Centre by the union have been made through the media. It is important to note there are many complex differences among the organizations. Among these differences is the use of volunteers. The Salvation Army does not use volunteer kitchen staff in its daily operation as the use of volunteers is prohibited under collective agreement with PSAC. The Salvation Army employs only unionized employees in food services department.

Despite claims made by PSAC in the media, no employees of The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre have an annual salary that exceeds $100,000. This includes members of the management team and the executive director.

The Ottawa Booth Centre has an annual budget of 8 million dollars, 90 percent of which is invested in direct program delivery and services, far exceeding the guidelines established by the Canada Revenue Agency. The centre has 117 employees (60 of which are unionized) and delivers 14 different programs within the community.

In the unfortunate event unionized employees choose to take strike action a complex contingency plan is in place and The Salvation Army will continue to meet the needs of our vulnerable clients. We have committed to not locking our employees out and have clearly communicated that to our employees, the local union president and the PSAC negotiation staff on a number of occasions.

The Salvation Army is committed to ending the current labour action which is why we have negotiated an equitable and fair offer, especially given these challenging economic times and as such, our offer of a 7.5% wage increase over 3 years, $500 signing bonus for full-time employees, 2 additional bereavement days all of which is retroactive to April 1, 2011. This offer is still available to employees.  The Salvation Army has offered and is open to proceed with binding arbitration.

SOURCE The Salvation Army - Ontario Central Division

For further information:

or to set up an interview please contact:

Michael Maidment
Area Director, Public Relations and Development
Tel: 613-795-8898

Caroline Franks
Public Relations Specialist
Tel: 613-314-0546

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