April 26, 2012
(Simcoe County) – Unable to reach a new collective agreement with Kinark Child and Family Services despite six months of trying, Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 355 will head back to the bargaining table on Monday, April 30 with the help of a Ministry of Labour conciliator.
Local 355 requested conciliation because the employer refused to discuss monetary improvements for the 85 workers in 14 locations throughout Simcoe and Muskoka. Similar employers in the Child Treatment Sector have agreed this year to combinations of wage increases, lump sum bonuses, mileage and vacation improvements, and others.
“The bargaining team has put forward a reasonable position on behalf of these mental health workers who provide professional services to vulnerable children and youth and their families,” says OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Frontline workers provide the stability and safety the children and youth need. It’s not credible that Kinark can’t match or approximate what other agencies with the same funding sources are doing.”
Local 355 president Shannon Van Dyk says Kinark argues the province’s wage freeze applies to the workers, which it doesn’t. And, she says, the company raised salaries for their high earners, contrary to the wage restraints.
“In 2011, 18 Kinark managers and directors earned more than $100,000, up from 16 in 2010. One of them is at the bargaining table telling us Kinark can’t negotiate ‘compensation increases’ for our members, who earn $39,000 to $57,000 per year,” she says.
The union bargaining committee will as the members for a strike mandate if conciliation fails.
In the eighteen year period from 1993 to 2010, 16,143* people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 897 deaths per year).
The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world and has been adopted by the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade.
The Canadian flag on Parliament Hill will fly at half-mast. Workers will light candles, don ribbons and black armbands and observe moments of silence. Region 3 Locals are asked to participate by declaring April 28 a Day of Mourning , post a notice at your worksite and encourage your members attend a ceremony in your community.
We give a lot to our work, we shouldn’t be expected to give our lives.
Durham Region Labour Council
12:00 (noon) Day of Mourning Monument Area
Oshawa City Hall (corner of King St. and Centre St.) Oshawa, ON
Light Refreshments to follow at USW Hall 125 Albert Street Oshawa, ON
Bill Stratton, Chair DOM Committee Mayor John Henry
Irwin Nanda, OFL Executive V-P Jim Freeman, President, DRLC
Contact: Durham Region Labour Council
T: 905-579-5188/E: email@example.com
Lindsay & District Labour Council
12:30 p.m. Workers Memorial, Victoria Park Victoria Avenue (across from Lindsay Police station)
Followed by short march after the ceremony to Queen Street United Church for lunch Lindsay, ON
Contact: James Mulhern
T: 705-340-8237/E: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Simcoe Muskoka & District Labour Council
12:00 (noon) City Hall Foyer Orillia, ON
Contact: Doris Middleton
T: 705-238-8003/E: email@example.com
Peterborough & District Labour Council
11:00 a.m Peterborough City Hall, 500 George St. N. Peterborough, ON
Singer/Songwriter: George Hewison
Followed by light lunch at the Black Horse Pub 452 George St. N, Peterborough, ON
Contact: Peterborough & District Labour Council T: 705-742-9286
Northumberland Labour Council
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 4:15 p.m.
Lucas Point Park, Cobourg
Meet and greet to follow ceremony at Columbus Community Centre,
232 Spencer Street, Cobourg.
Contact: Gloria Riley (905) 372-9726 or firstname.lastname@example.org