Employer's concessions have serious financial implications for workers.
Owen Sound (26 Aug. 2015) — A second strike in three years is possible as talks broke down last week between Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) members and Participation Lodge Grey Bruce.
Refusal to remove concessions forces strike vote
OPSEU/NUPGE asked for a “no board” report after the union met with the employer and an appointed conciliator from the Ministry of Labour on August 19 but failed to achieve a collective agreement for the 55 Lodge workers.
The members rejected the employer’s last offer by a 97 per cent margin and have authorized the bargaining team to call a strike if necessary. The employer is unwilling to move from its position of concessions.
Concessions include eliminating health benefits for part-time and casual workers, reducing sick time for full-time staff
The rejected employer’s offer would have taken away an “in lieu” payment of 13 per cent for part-time and casual workers. This is a percentage of the hourly rate that part-time and casual workers receive in lieu of benefits such as dental and health benefits. The average loss would be $2.64 per hour.
Full-time employees are being asked to give up their current banking of sick days in exchange for a short-term sickness plan that would pay out at 66.66 per cent of the hourly rate. This proposal would amount to a loss of $6 per hour in wages.
Parties to meet again before strike deadline
The union asked that the “no-board” report be issued which would put the workers in a legal strike position at 12:01 am on Sept. 25. Workers say the employer's offer has left them no other choice. The parties have scheduled to meet again on September 22.
Workers at Participation Lodge were on strike for eight weeks in 2012.
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