Toronto – The bargaining team for some 103 employees with ACCES Employment have requested a “no board” report in its negotiations with their employer. It means the workers, who are represented by Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 512, could be facing a strike or lockout as soon as September 15 at 12:01 a.m.
Despite a number of bargaining sessions, including two days of conciliation and one of mediation, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement, said bargaining team chair Sydney Lovell.
“The employer has a last chance to avoid a labour disruption on September 14, with a final day of mediation,” she said. “The team is ready to do everything it takes to reach a fair deal. That’s what we’ve been doing all along. But the employer has consistently refused to bargain seriously, and now they need to come to the table with a decent offer.”
The OPSEU members work as employment councellors, job developers, and administrative staff at five locations across Toronto and Peel. Last March, they voted 91 per cent in favour of delivering a strike mandate to their bargaining team to give it increased power at the table.
The employer has demanded a large number of concessions, including:
- changing the terms of long-term disability;
- increasing employees’ co-payments for benefits;
- introducing a two-tier wage grid, with new employees making less; and
- transforming float days into earned time off.
Further, the employer refuses to address language proposals around critical injury reporting, the union’s role at accommodation and return-to-work meetings, contracting-out, and the importance of quality public services.
“This employer is completely out of touch with the role of a union and what it means to bargain meaningfully,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. They need to rethink their position and return to the table with a completely different attitude.”
For more information: Sydney Lovell, 647-963-2868