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Local 324 members vote to reject PSSAB final offer

PARRY SOUND – Unionized employees of the Parry Sound Social Services Administrative Board have firmly rejected management’s final contract offer in a vote taken Monday night.

“By a substantial margin our members have given a big thumbs down to the employer’s final offer,” said Local 324 president Linda Smith, representing 140 full- and part-time members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) working for Ontario Works, Social Housing, Esprit Place Family Resource Centre, and licensed Child Care Resources in the district of Parry Sound.

“We hope this sends a loud message to the PSSAB that there is nothing in its contract offer that will improve the wage and benefit situation of our members.”

Monday’s vote followed the collapse of conciliation talks with the PSSAB on Feb. 12. Both sides are scheduled to meet in mediation on March 9.

Smith said her members voted against the board’s offer because it offered negligible improvements to wages that already are among the lowest in the province for workers of similar skills.

“Our members want to settle this at the table,” said Smith. “The employer doesn’t seem to have any interest in negotiating.”