AGO members reach tentative agreement
On May 2, 2014 the bargaining team for members of OPSEU Local 535 reached a tentative agreement with the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The bargaining team is recommending that members ratify the tentative agreement. Details of the agreement will not be released until members had had a chance to review and vote on the deal.
AGO info picket sends clear message
More than 50 Art Gallery of Ontario workers and allies held an info picket on April 10, carrying signs, singing songs of solidarity and greeting guests as they arrived for the annual Massive Party fundraiser event.
With a strike deadline of May 2, 2014 fast approaching, the picket sent the employer a clear message that it's time to settle a fair agreement with their staff.
"We are asking the AGO to show some respect for their staff, by coming to the table with an agreement that offers better job security, hours and wages," said local President, Jane Lott.
"The cuts to jobs at the AGO must stop. Eliminating full-time positions to outsource our work to low-paid contract workers is beneath a great institution like this," said Lott.
Workers have a 94% strike mandate.
AGO Massive Party info picket marks beginning of countdown to strike
TORONTO – Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) workers will hold an information picket from 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Calling for respect and a fair contract, the picket will be the first thing visitors see as they arrive for the annual Massive Party fundraiser. The union has filed a No Board, and workers will be in a legal strike position on Friday, May 2, 2014.
WHAT: Information picket
WHERE: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317, Dundas Street West, Toronto
WHEN: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, April 10, 2014
Contract negotiations at the AGO began in in February 2014, and there is serious concern about the lack of progress at the table. With just four days of bargaining booked before the strike deadline, there is little time left and the two parties are still far apart.
“It’s time for this employer to show some basic respect to their staff,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The reputation of the AGO is at stake here. Being a good workplace is part of being a respected world-class institution.”
Of key concern is the erosion of good jobs. Five full-time and two part-time positions were recently cut in the food and beverage department and have now been contracted out. Part-time work accounts for two-thirds of the staff positions.
“Staff are deeply committed to the work we do at the AGO. But these jobs are being steadily downgraded through contracting out, cutting full-time positions, reducing hours and shifts.” said Jane Lott, OPSEU Local 535 President.
“We are ready to do what it takes to ensure the AGO remains a place that everyone in Ontario can feel proud to visit,” said Lott.
Jane Lott, OPSEU Local 535 President: 416-704-5205 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Loney, OPSEU Negotiator: 1-800-268-7376 email@example.com