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Personal Choice Independent Living (PCIL) workers count down to possible strike

We the North
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Personal Choice Independent Living workers will be in a legal strike position on March 26.

OPSEU has acquired PCIL financial statements which reveal that PCIL revenues quadrupled in 2010. Assets of this not-for-profit agency include investments, capital assets and cash flow totalling close to a million dollars. In addition, PCIL recently announced that they are expanding their services to include 55 new clients.

PCIL workers are the lowest paid in the region for their job classification. In spite of existing low wages and available resources, however, the employer has so far insisted that the workers take a pay cut. They have threatened to close the agency entirely if the workers refuse.

Meanwhile, the employer is actively recruiting scab labour: They are telling employees that they should feel free to cross the picket line and continue to work in the event of a strike.

“These workers deserve a fair wage for the important work that they do in our community,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President. “By refusing to allow wages to keep pace with inflation, the employer is asking them to take a pay cut.”

“The workers have a 100% strike vote,” said Smokey. “They are standing firm in their negotiations with the full support of their union.”

Parties will return to the table on Friday, March 18: Workers are hopeful that a fair contract will be reached.

While it has been in operation since 1975, this would be the first time that PCIL has ever seen its workers out on strike.

Personal Choice Independent Living has three locations in Ottawa. As a group home environment, PCIL offers 24 hour support for daily living to adults with physical life challenges.

For more information:

Sonia Boudreau, OPSEU Staff Representative/ Negotiator 613-447-8631
David Lundy, OPSEU Regional Vice-President 613-213-1953