Ottawa – More than 400 members of OPSEU Local 454 working at the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Ottawa are being asked to vote no this Friday to a contract offer described by their bargaining team as a “bad deal.”
In a shocking and negative move, the CAS has forced these workers into a final offer vote, just days after having agreed to conciliation – a more positive pathway to resolving the parties’ bargaining dispute.
“This is highly unusual,” according to Chrisy Tremblay, OPSEU CAS sector vice-chair, and OPSEU Board Member. “This is clearly a pressure tactic to avoid conciliation, where the employer knows they’ll lose. Our bargaining team is strong, and quite obviously, this is a last-ditch effort to bully the members into accepting a bad deal.”
OPSEU’s local bargaining team has continued to push for reasonable improvements around job security language and fairer compensation, in an effort to improve working conditions for all the Ottawa staff.
“With amalgamations and mergers on the horizon, and a provincial election this June, our future is very unclear,” said Michele Thorn, president of OPSEU Local 454, and chair of the CAS bargaining team. “Our members work in highly stressful jobs, with vulnerable children and families. That’s why our main goal throughout this process has been to get better protection for our members in these uncertain times.
“Our employer is asking us to go backwards” said Thorn. “We’re only asking that they be fair, and show a little care for their staff.”
“Just this week, the Premier outlined a vision of improved care in this province,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It’s time for CAS to pay attention to that message, and to care for the workers who provide care to our vulnerable children. I strongly encourage all members of Local 454 to vote no this Friday; to stay strong, and push for better.”
For more information: Michele Thorn, 613-220-7979; Chrisy Tremblay, 613-882-7155; Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931.