Nearly 2 weeks ago, a strong majority of these workers voted in favour of going on strike if the employer insists on a collective agreement that allows for contracting out.
Ottawa (20 March 2018) — With a rally that drew a great turnout of more than 100 supporters on March 13, it was clear that the members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) who work at the Children's Aid Society (CAS) of Ottawa are standing strong for the services they provide.
Strong strike vote sends message to employer
"The employer was not expecting us to get a strike vote but we did," said Michele Thorn, OPSEU Local 454, CAS bargaining committee chair. "Now they are hoping to divide us, to make us weaker, but we won't let that happen!"
"Their refusal to include solid language that protects ALL our jobs for now and in the future suggests they do not really value us," said Thorn. "We don't want a strike. The best way to avoid one, is to stay strong, trust the process, and continue to support your bargaining team. We can do this!"
The roughly 400 workers at Children's Aid Society of Ottawa have been without a contract since December 31, 2017. Nearly 2 weeks ago, a strong majority of these workers voted in favour of going on strike if the employer insists on a collective agreement that allows for contracting out.
OPSEU/NUPGE members look for job security, decent working conditions
Chrisy Tremblay, who is the Vice-Chair of OPSEU’s CAS sector and a member of the Local 454, CAS bargaining committee, reminded the crowd that the workers at Children's Aid Society of Ottawa can't provide quality services if they don't have job security and decent working conditions.
Tremblay also thanked all the Ottawa-area labour activists who joined the rally.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, praised the workers for standing up for the services they provide, pledging the support of OPSEU's 150,000 members.
"I'm proud to stand with these members as they fight for themselves and for the people who depend on the services they provide," Thomas said. "It's members like these that make OPSEU/NUPGE strong and Ontario great."
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