North Halton, Ontario – Workers at Community Living North Halton have given their union bargaining team a 99 per cent strike vote to back their demand for a decent wage offer.
Members of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 268 delivered the vote at a packed union meeting Tuesday afternoon. The collective agreement for the 265 developmental services workers expired March 31, 2016.
Local 268 president Lori Hubley said the strike vote was her members’ reaction to an employer offer of zero wage increases and lump-sum payments as low as $75 over a two-year contract.
“For anybody to be offered zeros is insulting,” Hubley said. “We’re not asking for the moon, the stars, and the sun, but everybody needs recognition in the form of a decent wage.
“What’s a casual making $19 an hour supposed to do with $75 over two years? Go out for dinner?”
Hubley said many workers were surprised to see the employer’s offer at a time when the agency is growing and buying new group homes.
“I would say this employer has been very fair in the past, but seriously, you can’t say you care about your staff and then offer them nothing.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said Local 268’s strike vote sent a strong message to Community Living North Halton.
“The age of austerity is over,” he said. “Workers across Ontario, and around the world, have been paying the price for the last recession for nine years now, and we’re done.
“I’m calling on this employer to come back to the bargaining table with a serious proposal.”
OPSEU Local 268 represents workers in group homes in Milton, Georgetown, and Acton.
For more information: Lori Hubley (905) 873-5122