Despite a pledge to meet in mediation with the union on Oct. 27, management at Geneva Centre for Autism in Toronto has already posted a notice to its website on Oct. 26 declaring its intention to lock out its employees on Oct. 29. This latest move follows allegations that the employer has disseminated false information to its staff, the result of which has led OPSEU to file unfair labour practice charges at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Both parties will appear before the OLRB on Oct. 28. Members of OPSEU Local 548, which represents about 75 staff members, have brought forward allegations that the employer has been inducing staff to cross picket lines should a lock out occur. The union is also investigating allegations of coercion and intimidation against staff. “We are deeply concerned about this employer’s rush to lock us out rather than focus on reaching a negotiated settlement in the interest of both clients and workers,” said Taryn Persaud, chair of the bargaining team.
Last week the employer posted security guards at its building entrances after a union staff person attended a public information meeting. Members have directed the bargaining team to fight temporary lay offs planned by the employer for late December. Members have refused to accept a pay cut at the same time that Geneva Centre executive director Margaret Whelan enjoyed an $18,000 pay hike in 2009 and a whopping 43 per cent increase since 2005. At the same time, the Centre found sufficient funding to purchase two buildings in 2007 while awarding other senior managers salary increases of seven and eight per cent in 2009.
Support Geneva workers – Take Action
Call Executive Director, Margaret Whelan and urge her to make Geneva Centre for Autism proud of its support for its workers!
Tell her to stop the lay offs of its valuable workers. (416) 322-7877 ext. 244, firstname.lastname@example.org