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Public Service workers to hold Queen’s Park rally as MPPs return to session

TORONTO – Ontario Public Service Employees Union President Warren (Smokey) Thomas will be joined by the leaders of major Ontario public sector unions at a rally at Queen’s Park to demand the Liberal government negotiate a fair contract with 35,000 direct Ministry employees.

Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Time: 7 a.m.-9 a.m.
Location: Queen’s Park, south lawn, Toronto

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that every day in Ontario public service workers try to provide the vital services every Ontarian relies upon despite an environment of dwindling resources, staff cuts and increasing workloads.

“Premier Kathleen Wynne is determined to continue to slash more public sector jobs and services, while at the same time she is wasting billions on private contracts,” Thomas said. “We’re asking the people of Ontario ‘What could you do with 8.2?’, in reference to the $8.2 billion tax dollars, and climbing, that this government has needlessly thrown away.”

Thomas said that it is proven that public sector workers do the work better, cheaper and fairer than private contractors. “These wasted billions are gone,” Thomas said. “Just imagine what $8.2 billion could have done to improve public services in Ontario. Instead, it is now lining the pockets of private companies hand-picked by the Liberal government.”

Thomas said the government needs to start negotiating a fair collective agreement that will actually save taxpayer money and support public sector work by public sector workers. “Our collective agreement is the only thing protecting public services in this province,” Thomas said. “We have a Five-Point Plan that would provide for transparency and public oversight on public sector private contracts. But the government refuses to even consider it.”

OPSEU represents all frontline Ministry employees who work directly for the Ontario government. The current collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2014.

Guest speakers at the rally include Dave Bulmer, President, The Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO); Fred Hahn, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario; Linda Haslam-Stroud, President, Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) ; Ping Wu, President, Professional Engineers Government of Ontario (PEGO); and John Cartwright, President, Toronto & York Region Labour Council.

For more information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas: 416-443-8888 
Don Ford, OPSEU Communications: 416-443-8888

Related: OPS Bargaining Index