|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 27, 1999
members ratify public service contract
TORONTO Front-line workers in the Ontario Public Service have
ratified a three-year collective agreement with the Ontario government.
In province-wide voting March 24-26, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees
Union voted 82 per cent in favour of accepting the Central agreement signed March 18.
Voter turnout was 61 per cent, with over 29,500 employees voting out of a total bargaining
unit of 48,000.
Vote results in the six wage categories were as follows:
Institutional & Health Care 82%
Office Administration 86%
Operational & Maintenance 83%
"OPSEU members should take a great deal of pride in what has just happened,"
said OPSEU president Leah Casselman. "Collective bargaining is very stressful at the
best of times, but when the boss is as anti-worker as this government, it is even more so.
"We faced an uphill battle against concessions from the very start," said
Casselman. "Through hard work and determination we made it to the top. We forced this
employer to withdraw its plan to slash wages through the Bargaining Unit Overhaul; we
killed their demand for short-term layoffs; we protected seniority rights; and we slammed
the door to favouritism when we stopped their pay-for-performance scheme.
"We not only beat back the takeaways, we also made decent progress on early
retirement, faster justice on grievances, time off for local presidents, and the first
wage increases since 1993," she said. "Best of all, we were able to accomplish
all this without a single day on the picket line.
"This is a clear victory for the hard-working people who provide the public
services that hold our communities together. Congratulations to all of us."
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