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Information Picket: CMHA Oxford staff picket because of employer’s bargaining tactics: employer leaves table before money discussed

Information Picket: CMHA Oxford staff picket because of employer’s bargaining tactics: employer leaves table before money discussed

We the North
We the North

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WOODSTOCK – How do you bargain a first contract when the employer leaves the table before the word ‘money’ is even mentioned?

That’s what Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 152 and its 41 members are asking after Oxford’s Canadian Mental Health Association called for conciliation just five days into bargaining.

The members will be setting up information pickets prior to the start of the CMHA Annual General Membership meeting June 11 in Woodstock.

“This employer has now set in motion the process that could lead to an unnecessary and pointless strike or lockout,” explains staff representative Carol Warner. “We want to bargain a contract.”

The Oxford workers earn 25 per cent less than staff performing similar work and with similar qualifications at other CMHAs in the Southwest region. Most CMHAs also offer better benefits and mileage rates than the Oxford Branch.

“Increased staff turnover rates at CMHA Oxford are having a negative impact on client care,” says Tischa Battram, unit steward. “We need to ensure the care being provided to clients with mental health issues in our community does not suffer.”

An information picket will be held:

Where: Quality Inn, Woodstock (exit Hwy 401 North on # 59. Turn Left at the Motel 8; entrance is on the left).

When: June 11, 2008 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

OPSEU represents about 130,000 public employees working in communities across Ontario. 

For more information, contact:

Carol Warner, OPSEU staff representative, tel: 519-319-1736

Tischa Battram, Local 152, Unit Steward, tel: 519-777-1581

Kim McDowell, Local 152, Local President, tel: 519-765-8660