Gravenhurst, Ontario – Outside workers for the Town of Gravenhurst return to the bargaining table February 9 aiming to stop layoffs and stave off other concessions their employer is demanding, their union says.
“We’ve been in bargaining since the fall, but what makes Thursday different is we’re going back to the table with a 91 per cent strike vote,” said Denise Near, staff representative for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). “The members of Local 325 are saying in no uncertain terms that they will not let this employer gut job security language and they will not accept concessions or pay cuts of any kind.”
The workers’ contract expired on March 31, 2016. Negotiations will continue with the help of a conciliator. The union has not yet set a strike date.
Near said the union bargaining team is hopeful that the February 9 talks will result in a tentative collective agreement.
“If we don’t get a deal this week, we will be moving to the next step and setting a strike date,” she said. “We don’t want a strike, but we are not accepting concessions, either.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas called on the town to be transparent about its plans for the outside workers and negotiate in good faith on Thursday.
“These workers help make Gravenhurst a great place to live, and they want that respected,” he said. “It’s really not much to ask.”
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For more information: Denise Near, 705-238-2086