Not enough people have good jobs in Ontario. And not enough people have the quality public services they need. In this round of bargaining, we’re fighting for both.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (08 Sept. 2015) — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) and the Treasury Board Secretariat have agreed to pause emergency and essential services (EES) bargaining and return to the bargaining table after the Labour Day weekend.
The parties have been engaged in EES bargaining, which is required prior to a strike, since last January.
The President of OPSEU, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, is cautiously optimistic that the resumption in interest bargaining with public service members may lead to a settlement.
OPSEU/NUPGE members organize against concessions
OPSEU/NUPGE members have been mobilizing members to send the message to the Ontario Liberal government that cutting and privatizing public services do not benefit our communities.
The employer's proposals that have been on the table contain a continued wage freeze in Year 1 and 2, with no wage increase in Year 3 or 4 unless offset elsewhere, the introduction of a 12-step wage grid, cuts to sick leave and WSIB, a tiered drug formulary, mandatory rehabilitation, and more concessions to the current contract that are not fair or respectful.
“Years of cost cutting and layoffs in the public sector have reduced services and workers to the bare minimum,” Thomas said. “Our province already spends less per person on public services than any other province does. Not enough people have good jobs in Ontario. And not enough people have the quality public services they need. In this round of bargaining, we’re fighting for both.”
Bargaining toward a renewed collective agreement for OPSEU/NUPGE members has been ongoing since November 2014.
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