Participation Lodge and OPSEU Local 235 reach impasse – strike set for 12:01
a.m. Sept. 22
September 17, 2012
OWEN SOUND - Participation Lodge
and OPSEU Local 235 have reached an impasse again at 4 p.m. today. Despite the
assistance of a provincial mediator, the employer’s offer remained virtually
unchanged. With a strike deadline set for 12:01 a.m. Sat., Sept. 22, it appears
that the employer has little desire to resolve the outstanding issues.
“Our members are
very concerned about the quality of service that these very vulnerable clients
will receive,” said Lynn Easter, OPSEU staff negotiator. “The decision to
withdraw services is certainly not an easy one, however, the members feel quite
strongly that this employer could improve morale, work co-operatively on
scheduling issues, and provide for a fair and reasonable settlement.” Wages and
working conditions continue to be unresolved at the bargaining table.
that Participation Lodge is mismanaged and has far too many managers for the
number of staff providing direct care services. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey)
Thomas is calling on the Province to do an actual investigation into how much
this non-profit organization spends on providing direct care services.
Executive Director was recently quoted as saying there was ‘about six’ managers
or directors when in fact the organizational chart provided to the union clearly
identifies eleven managers for approximately 50 staff,” Thomas said. “Kerr also
stated that ‘staff are responsible for their own morale and that a few are
creating a bad morale.’ The fact that 90 per cent of the members showed up at
both the recent strike vote and final offer vote, and rejected both employer
offers by 91 per cent, clearly indicates where the real problems are at
have an employer-contributed RRSP, while staff do not have any form of pension.
The union has confirmed that at least one manager received a bonus for 2011 and,
along with another manager, subsequently used an agency vehicle and presumably
agency time to go spend it.
The union calls
on the employer to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair and
reasonable collective agreement before the Saturday deadline.
Lodge provides services both in the community and in a rural long-term care
facility for people with significant physical care needs and developmental
disabilities. The current collective agreement expired March 31, 2011.
Negotiator 519-657-8312 or
Andrea McCormack, Staff Representative 519-379-7159