Workers at Community Living Quinte West (CLQW) are headed for conciliation with their employer on July 11. Contract negotiations at CLQW have stalled after the employer refused to offer a fair contract.
CLQW has recently hired a new non-union assistant to the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. This decision flies in the face of claims that there are insufficient funds to bargain a fair contract with staff. Workers at CLQW have received no pay increase since 2009.
A high ratio of management to frontline staff is an ongoing frustration for frontline workers. The President of OPSEU has requested a meeting with CLQW Executive Director, Starr Olson.
“I want to discuss the top-heavy management structure at this organization, and the impact that has had on negotiations,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “I hope I’ll hear back from her shortly.”
“Management at CLQW is almost one to one! That is simply not the best way to maximize resources,” said Local President Cathy Suijker.
Workers at CLQW sent a letter to the Board of Directors expressing their concerns. Focusing on the expensive problem of top-heavy management, the letter questions how CLQW can justify the number of managers on payroll.
“This drain on our agency’s funding takes away from the precious resources needed to provide quality care in our community,” said Suijker. “Unfortunately the response we received from the Board of Directors did not address our concerns. Their letter to us is very discouraging.”
Workers held a Solidarity Picnic on June 15, 2012, which was attended by OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas as well as OPSEU Regional Board Members. The event was well- attended, including a strong show of support for the front-line staff and the important work they do serving vulnerable members of their community.
There are 13 full-time employees at CLQW as well as six regular part-time staff and a number of casual workers. CLQW workers work with adults who have developmental disabilities. They provide services at three residential settings and also run day programs, which serve large numbers of community members.
For more information:
Chris Cormier, OPSEU Regional Board Member (c) 613-921-5346
Cathy Suijker, OPSEU Local 403 Steward and Bargaining Team Chair (c) 613-743-2423