Workers in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, will hold an information picket over the government’s refusal to bargain a fair collective agreement.
Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 1300
Location: Roberta Bondar Place, 70 Foster Drive (Bay Street entrance), Sault Ste. Marie
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that the government is refusing to recognize the legitimate bargaining demands from his members, and is intent on freezing wages and cutting benefits in the current contract.
“Government negotiators at the bargaining table appear they would rather push the OPS into a strike than negotiate a fair deal with their employees,” Thomas said. “Yet this same government seems to have no problems with wasting billions of dollars on failed privatization schemes.”
Thomas said that the union has repeatedly told Premier Kathleen Wynne that his members can provide these services better and cheaper than the private sector, which has been affirmed by Ontario’s Auditor General. Despite this, that message is not filtering down to the bargaining table.
“Investing tax dollars directly into public services and public sector jobs will actually save the tax payers money,” Thomas said. “If the government spent even a fraction of the money on public services and public service workers that is now wasted on private contractors, we would have better, more reliable and more accountable services for everyone.”
Members are now protesting in a bid to get that message across. “Kathleen Wynne needs to take action now and direct her negotiators to start bargaining a fair contract with those who provide crucial services in this province,” Thomas said. “That would be in the best interest of all Ontarians.”
OPSEU represents all frontline Ministry employees who work directly for the Ontario government. The current collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2014.