Strike starts at midnight as staff at Community Living Campbellford/Brighton reject offer

Campbellford, Ontario – Nearly 100 union members at Community Living Campbellford/Brighton (CLCB) will be on strike at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22.

Members of Local 316 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) voted down the employer’s final offer at the bargaining table today, signaling “a clear consensus that this deal wasn’t addressing our main concerns,” according to Leslie Coles, OPSEU Local 316 vice-president.

A key issue that led members to reject the offer is the employer’s demand that staff use their personal vehicles as a condition of their employment, which raised significant concerns about liability and health and safety. Another issue was the “sub-standard wage package” the employer offered.

Members are also “extremely disappointed” by CLCB Executive Director Nancy Brown’s choice to interact directly with members after already being advised that the local bargaining committee had distributed the employer’s offer to the entire membership.

“We are disappointed that Brown chose to ignore the usual, acceptable labour practices in collective bargaining and bypass the local bargaining committee,” said Richard Bradley OPSEU Staff Representative/Negotiator.

There have also been reports of some staff and clients being locked out of some work locations earlier today, “an action that is very disruptive to our members and the vulnerable people they support,” said Bradley.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas voiced his outrage over the employer’s actions. “This employer is showing a blatant disrespect for my members, and disregard for their safety as well as that of the people they support,” he said. “These members will have the full support of all 130,000 members of OPSEU, for as long as it takes to make this employer see reason.”

OPSEU members at CLCB provide support for adults with intellectual disabilities in Campbellford, Brighton, and the surrounding area.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931