HAWKESBURY – Workers in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, will protest at their local MPP’s office over the government’s refusal to bargain a fair collective agreement.
Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015
Time: 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: MPP Grant Crack’s office, 151 Main Street East
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that the government is refusing to recognize the legitimate bargaining demands from his members, and is intent on freezing wages and cutting benefits in the current contract.
“Government negotiators at the bargaining table appear they would rather push the OPS into a strike than negotiate a fair deal with their employees,” Thomas said. “Yet this same government seems to have no problems with wasting billions of dollars on failed privatization schemes.”
Thomas said that the union has repeatedly told Premier Kathleen Wynne that his 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.
“Investing tax dollars directly into public services and public sector jobs will actually save the taxpayers money,” Thomas said. “If the government spent even a fraction of the money on public services and public service workers that is now wasted on private contractors, we would have better, more reliable and more accountable services for everyone.”
Members are now protesting directly to the MPPs in a bid to get that message across. “If Kathleen Wynne can’t properly direct her negotiators, maybe her caucus members can convince her that a fair contract with those who provide crucial services in this province is in the best interests 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: Guy Paquin Belle-Isle, President Local 426: (613) 307-1596
Related: OPS Bargaining 2014 Index Page