'Know that we stand strong.... OPSEU will do everything in its power to ensure that you get the fair contract you deserve.'
Toronto (12 Oct. 2010) - Employees at the Geneva Centre for Autism are one step closer to a strike.
A conciliation officer is scheduled to file a "no board" report on Tuesday with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), starting the countdown to a legal strike as of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 29.
The employees are members of Local 548 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). They have voted 98% to strike if necessary to win a fair contract. The workers provide direct service and community support to people with autism and their families.
A key issue is a proposal to lay off all staff for five days over the end of year holidays. The employer continues to insist that these temporary layoff proposals will remain in the contract.
"Know that we stand strong," says OPSEU president, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "Geneva Centre workers have the full support of their union. OPSEU will do everything in its power to ensure the fair contract they deserve."
The centre has threatened to conduct a temporary layoff of the entire bargaining unit of 80 members, a tactic already used once previously.
An information picket on Oct. 4 demonstrated overwhelming support for the workers by parents who receive autism services for their children.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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