“Today, our bargaining team showed that we’re ready to negotiate a fair deal, and we’re pleased to see that we’ve forced the employer to do the same." — Michele Thorn, President of OPSEU Local 454, and Chair of the CAS bargaining team
Ottawa (23 March 2018) — In a victory for themselves and the children they protect, the members of Local 454 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) who work at the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Ottawa have forced their employer to call off the “disrespectful and heavy-handed” final offer vote that had been scheduled.
Forcing a vote before conciliation could have had lasting negative effects on labour relations
“The employer realized what everybody else knew: forcing a vote before we even went into conciliation was incredibly disrespectful to us, to the children we serve, and to the entire collective bargaining process,” said Chrisy Tremblay, OPSEU Board Member and CAS sector Vice-Chair.
On March 21, the employer made the highly unusual move of forcing a final offer vote, even though the parties were just days away from conciliation — a more positive pathway to resolving the parties’ bargaining dispute.
OPSEU/NUPGE members are ready to bargain
“Today, our bargaining team showed that we’re ready to negotiate a fair deal, and we’re pleased to see that we’ve forced the employer to do the same,” said Michele Thorn, President of OPSEU Local 454, and Chair of the CAS bargaining team. “The employer’s bullying tactics ran the risk of damaging our labour relations for some time to come.”
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, was shocked by the employer’s behaviour, and praised the Local 454 members for standing strong against it.
“I’m incredibly proud to be in the same union as these members,” said Thomas. “It’s not easy to stand up to an employer that pulls these kinds of bullying stunts, but Local 454 is staying focused on the main goal: negotiating a fair contract that will allow them to offer the best care possible to some of the most vulnerable children in Ottawa.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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