“Our members are proud of the work they do and they deserve to be paid fairly." — Kim Madden, OPSEU SAFE-T Radius Bargaining Committee Chair
Oakville (22 Oct. 2015) — On October 9, SAFE-T Radius Child and Youth Services advised the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) Local 511 bargaining team that they were asking the conciliation officer to issue a No Board Report. The union feels the No Board Report request is a provocative action by the employer, as there was movement at the bargaining table with the assistance of the conciliation officer.
OPSEU/NUPGE members face potential lockout by SAFE-T Radius management
The No Board Report will permit the employer to legally lock out all OPSEU/NUPGE members at SAFE-T Radius as of November 12. The parties are scheduled to meet with the assistance of a neutral third party on November 9 to again try to reach a settlement.
OPSEU/NUPGE members Local 511 conducted a strike vote in June and the bargaining team received a 100 per cent strike mandate.
“I applauded the strong strike mandate taken by members of Local 511 back in June,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “We feel negotiations should continue. But if a lockout occurs, the employer should be aware that OPSEU/NUPGE will support Local 511 with all of our resources.”
Management requested a No Board report after only 11 days of bargaining
Members are currently covered by the existing Ontario Public Service collective agreement that expired on December 31, 2014. Bargaining for a first contract started at SAFE-T Radius in December 2014. After bargaining for 11 days, the parties reached an impasse. The parties concluded their second day of conciliation when OPSEU/NUPGE was advised of the No Board request by SAFE-T Radius.
The 19-member bargaining unit comprises social workers, psychometrists and administrative staff. The work is difficult and stressful.
“Our members are proud of the work they do and they deserve to be paid fairly,” said Kim Madden, Chair of the Bargaining Committee.
Employer looking to cut wages, pension and health benefits
Instead of offering the workers a fair wage, the employer wants an across-the-board, one-time 1.5 per cent wage cut, elimination of membership in the OPSEU Pension Trust for all current and future members, and for members to pay significantly more in premiums for their existing benefits.
The members are seeking to stay with the OPSEU Pension Trust, maintain their current benefit plan without any additional premiums, and a modest general wage increase after a two-year salary freeze.
OPSEU/NUPGE members at SAFE-T provide valuable public services
SAFE-T provides specialized assessment and treatment services to youth and families that have experienced intra-familial sexual abuse, children who exhibit concerning sexualized behaviours, and youth who have offended sexually. SAFE-T offers training and consultation to health professionals (both in Canada and abroad), to Youth Justice representatives, to Children's Aid Societies, schools, and parents, in order to increase awareness and understanding of child sexual abuse, sexualized behaviour, and sexual offending.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE