Union to Community Living Campbellford/ Brighton: ‘Let’s talk cars’

Campbellford, Ontario – Union members working at Community Living Campbellford/Brighton (CLCB) are “willing to accept the same transportation arrangements as management has,” says Courtney Huycke, bargaining team member and chief steward of Local 316 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

The issue of cars has been a central issue in the OPSEU strike at CLCB, which started March 22. The employer is demanding that staff agree to use their own cars as a condition of employment, which has raised concerns of cost, liability, and health and safety.

CLCB Executive Director Nancy Brown is provided with a car paid for by the publicly-funded agency, as well as insurance coverage for it, the union notes.

“My members’ insurance costs will go through the roof if their collective agreement says they are required to use their own vehicles for work,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President. “Rather than providing enough fleet vehicles for employees to use, the employer is trying to push those costs on to my members, so that Ms. Brown can drive around town in her all-expenses-paid Jeep.

“My members already pay for their own cars,” he said. “They are not going to pay for Ms. Brown’s, too.”

Thomas urged the employer to return to the bargaining table with a “serious” proposal. “My members need a deal that respects them and the vital care work that they do in the community,” he said.

OPSEU represents nearly 100 members at CLCB. Members there provide support for adults with intellectual disabilities in Campbellford, Brighton, and the surrounding area.

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