TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Last night, striking workers from WoodGreen Community Services, rejected WoodGreen's final contract offer at a Ministry of Labour led ratification vote.
Workers voted 74% in favour of continued strike action which began on October 9th. Wages, along with a percentage increase in lieu of benefits for part-time staff, remain key sticking points in negotiations.
"WoodGreen has grossly underestimated workers' strength and we will continue to fight for a fair settlement," says Adrie Naylor, representative for Workers United, the union representing WoodGreen workers.
The union has submitted a proposal to WoodGreen for binding arbitration in order to end the dispute and get workers back on the job.
"Our members want to get back to work helping our clients and residents in the community. We want to settle this strike quickly to minimize any more disruptions for our service-users," says David Anderson, President of Local 154. "We feel binding arbitration is the most effective way to end the strike."
Many of WoodGreen's service users have expressed support for striking workers and are urging management and the Board of Directors to agree to binding arbitration. This week, a group of parents sent an open letter to WoodGreen management in support of striking child care workers.
"As parents, we know how hard early childhood educators work caring for our children," says Jessica Norman, a parent with a child in a WoodGreen child care centre. "We are very disappointed at how WoodGreen management has been treating its workers during the negotiating process and by their refusal to offer workers a cost of living wage increase."
The union is now awaiting WoodGreen's response to binding arbitration.
SOURCE: Workers United Canada Council
For further information: Navjeet Sidhu, Workers United: [email protected], 416-510-0887 x274; Allyson Cullen, WoodGreen worker/Local 154 member, 647-444-2559