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NPCA Director David Barrick must resign: OPSEU

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority building

Welland – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is calling for the resignation of David Barrick from his position as the Director of Corporate Services for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).  Barrick is also a Regional Councillor for Port Colborne.

“David Barrick was appointed to senior management without a competition three years ago, directly from the NPCA Board,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Three years of bad management is more than enough.”

Barrick’s responsibilities currently include overseeing human resources and finances at the NPCA. Since 2013, a third of the NPCA staff have been terminated and replaced. Nine municipalities and four area MPPs have called for a forensic audit and investigation of the organization for mismanagement.

On Valentine’s Day this year, under Barrick’s watch, the NPCA laid off highest-ranking union steward at the NPCA for what it called “budgetary reasons.” But the OPSEU President called that rationale “implausible, to say the least.

“If they’re so worried about the NPCA budget, why are they paying an outside consultant $150,000 to do an audit that the Auditor General’s office offered to do for free?”

Barb Wilson, President of OPSEU Local 217 which represents the unionized employees at the NPCA, agrees with Thomas’s call for Barrick’s resignation.

“Labour relations are at an all-time low,” she said. “Staff at the NPCA tell me there is a culture of fear and intimidation in the workplace. Almost every grievance ends up in expensive arbitration hearings because management refuses to settle them reasonably at early stages. It’s a waste of money and time.”

“The NPCA’s reputation can’t afford any more mismanagement,” Thomas concluded. “It’s time for the NPCA to bring our member back to work, and for David Barrick to show himself the door.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931; Barb Wilson, 905-682-4217