Social Services: Developmental Services

News: OPSEU President to join Participation Lodge rally in Hanover

October 30 2012 

OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, will join striking workers at the Hanover picket line at noon on Wednesday, October 31. As workers enter their sixth week of a strike, the union is calling on Participation Lodge Executive Director Elaine Kerr to return to the table with a fair offer for her workers.

WHAT : Rally
PLACE : St. Matthews Lutheran Manor, 307, 11th Avenue, Hanover
DATE : Wednesday Oct. 31, 2012 
: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Elaine Kerr has moved into the Owen Sound main location at Holland Centre along with the residential clients, replacement workers, her roommate and dog. Kerr recently hired her roommate as Director of Resource Development for Participation Lodge.

"It is unacceptable for the employer to lock themselves up in the agency with replacement workers rather than negotiate," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "What kind of behaviour is that? It's time for them to get back to the table and take negotiations seriously."

The fundraising position was turned into a management position last year at a cost of at least $120,000. As Director of Resource Development, Karen Kociuk raised approximately $18,000 in 2012. Meanwhile, close to 50% of the agency's budget goes to paying the salaries of managers. There are currently 11 managers for 50 staff.

"We are calling on the LHIN to step in and hold this agency accountable to the community," said OPSEU negotiator, Lynne Easter. "It is time for them to make front-line services a priority, and get this employer back to the bargaining table."

Participation Lodge workers provide services to seniors, and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. There are three Participation Lodge locations: Holland Centre and St. Francis Place in Owen Sound and Lutheran Manor in Hanover.

For more information:

Lynne Easter, Negotiator 519-657-8312Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 416-557-7936

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