Support striking workers at Participation Lodge in Owen Sound today | National Union of Public and General Employees

Support striking workers at Participation Lodge in Owen Sound today

“It is time for this employer to get back to the table,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Their failure to negotiate a reasonable contract with staff is an embarrassment to the community.”

logo for developmental services workers for OPSEUOwen Sound (26 Sept. 2012) - A rally in support of striking workers is being held today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Francis Place, 350 10th St. East, in Owen Sound. Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) have been on strike since September 22.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida and OPSEU Executive Board Members, Mike Grimaldi and Deb Tungatt will be attending the rally at noon.

“It is time for this employer to get back to the table,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Their failure to negotiate a reasonable contract with staff is an embarrassment to the community.”

Managers at Participation Lodge earn an annual salary of between $80,000 and $100,000, plus an additional bonus at Christmas. Paying manager salaries accounts for approximately 45 per cent of the agency’s funding.

“We are calling on this employer to get back to the table,” said OPSEU Negotiator, Lynn Easter. “They have enough money to put 11 managers in charge of 50 staff, yet claim they cannot find the money to adequately staff the agency.”

“We call on the Ministry of Community and Social Services to audit the books at Participation Lodge. There must be some accountability for the money they have,” said Easter.

Managers are believed to be running the primary Participation Lodge location, however an anonymous source has told the union that the employer has also hired replacement workers. Those replacement staff have reportedly been told they must work for two weeks straight, and may not leave the building during that time.

More than 50 staff members are currently on strike, and have been without a contract since March 31, 2011. There are picket lines at all three Participation Lodge locations: Holland Centre and St. Francis Place in Owen Sound and Lutheran Manor in Hanover.

Participation Lodge provides support to persons with developmental disabilities both in residential settings and in the community.

NUPGE

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

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