BARRIE – Workers in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, will hold an information picket over the government’s refusal to bargain a fair collective agreement.
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015
Time: 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: Barrie Courthouse, 75 Mulcaster Street
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that at the same time that the Wynne Liberals are slashing funding for much-needed public services, they are wasting billions on private sector contracts and spending billions more on corporate tax cuts.
“After years of austerity, Premier Kathleen Wynne is demanding that the public service accept more wage freezes, cutbacks and concessions,” Thomas said. “Government negotiators at the bargaining table appear they would rather push the OPS into a strike than negotiate a fair deal with their employees.”
OPSEU Region 3 Vice-President Sara Labelle said that the union has repeatedly told Premier Kathleen Wynne that OPS members can provide these services better and cheaper than the private sector, which has been affirmed by Ontario’s Auditor General. Despite this, that message is not filtering down to the bargaining table.
“Reports indicate that the Wynne government has either wasted or overspent more than $8.2 billion dollars on private contracts and corporations,” Labelle said. “Imagine what this province could do with that money. If Wynne really wants to save public money and deliver public quality services, stopping privatization and outsourcing is the first place to start.”
Members are holding demonstrations to get that message across. “The Premier needs to take action and direct her negotiators to reach a fair agreement with those who provide crucial services in this province,” Labelle said. “That would be in the best interest of all Ontarians.”
OPSEU represents all frontline Ministry employees who work directly for the Ontario government. The current collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2014.
For more information: Lisa Egan, President Local 313: (705) 791-9207
Related: OPS Bargaining 2014 Index Page