Owen Sound – Staff at HopeGreyBruce Mental Health and Addictions Services will be in conciliation with their employer on Tuesday, February 13. The employer has delayed the original conciliation date of January 11 by more than a month and staff hope a conciliator will help them reach a fair collective agreement.
The 65 members at HopeGreyBruce voted strongly last October in favour of a strike, they’ve been bargaining for more than a year.
A key concern is that members have only received a one per cent wage increase in the past 10 years, while management’s pay keeps growing. Staff are also asking for dental benefits, in keeping with other comparable agencies.
Andrew Drake, OPSEU Unit Steward and Bargaining Team Chair, said the employees are frustrated. “Our members have stood out in the wind and the snow at information pickets because we are serious about our commitment to the workplace and our community. I know this contract can be easily settled once it is a priority.”
OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, said there should be no difficulty reaching an agreement. “This is a matter of priorities and respect. When these workers joined OPSEU in 2016, the employer was put on notice that we expect them to negotiate a fair collective agreement for these workers, and that they have the full support of their union to back them up.”
Established in 1985, HopeGreyBruce Mental Health and Addictions Services is a non-profit agency that serves some 2,000 clients annually through two addictions programs and eight community mental health programs.
For more information: Andrew Drake, OPSEU Unit Steward and Bargaining Team Chair, 519-389-7010