HAMILTON — Members of the Ontario Public Service
Employees Union’s Local 262 at the Ontario March of Dimes Villa
Verdi facility could face a possible strike or lockout at 12:01 a.m.
On April 25, the employer requested a “no-board”
report from Ministry of Labour, beginning the countdown towards the
May 17 date.
Michael Culkeen, OPSEU negotiator, says that
bargaining has stalled due to the employer’s refusal to remove
concessions from the bargaining table.
“The employer has tabled concessions in job
security, benefits, job posting language and vacation calculation,”
Culkeen said. “The employer has also stated that staff will receive
absolutely no wage increases unless the concessions are agreed to.
In other words, staff must pay for their own wage increase if they
The 45 staff at Villa Verdi assist clients, many who
are wheelchair bound, with their daily living needs.
“These employees provide a vital service to people
in this community who cannot manage on their own,” says OPSEU
President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Instead of recognizing the value
of this important work, the employer wants to slash what few
benefits these workers have. There haven’t been any real
negotiations. The employer adopted a ‘take it or leave it’ stance
from Day 1 and hasn’t moved since.”
Bargaining resumes on May 16 and 17 with the
assistance of a provincial mediator.