Monthly Archives: April 2012

OPSEU Local 355 and Kinark back to the table

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.

Workers Day of Mourning 28 April 2012

In 2010, 1014 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada – an increase from 939 the previous year. This represents more than 2.78 deaths every single day.

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

Guest Speakers:

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:

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:

North Simcoe Muskoka & District Labour Council

12:00 (noon) City Hall Foyer Orillia, ON

Contact:             Doris Middleton
T: 705-238-8003/E:

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

Mariposa Folk Festival


Greetings Region 3 Locals,
The Mariposa Folk Festival is a fantastic showcase for OPSEU as a sponsor and a community involved labour organization and it is simply one of the best folk festivals in all of North America.   The values of the Mariposa’s Foundation closely reflect those of our own organization, highlighting Inclusiveness, Social Conscience and Diversity.   This year there is an amazing line-up of talent including  Jann Arden, Billy Bragg and Johnny Clegg.  Visit the website at:

Held annually in Orillia, this event is a great opportunity for our members to enjoy world class music, and take in the other fun activities that are part of the festival.  2012 also introduces an option for attendees to camp right at the event.
It is no secret that labour organizations are under attack by the right wing, corporate and profits driven agenda.   Furthermore our own public services employers have villianized unions in the media.    OPSEU and other trade unions must work to change that public image by highlighting the positive social and community oriented initiatives that we support and are involved in.
Once again we are hoping to fundraise for a sponsorship package from our Region 3 locals and OPSEU centrally.   With modest donations from our Region 3 locals and main sponsorship from OPSEU we can secure a fantastic package that will put our banners on 2 of the stages, banners in The beer tent area and signs in selected locations.   Prominent full page advertising within the festival program guide, logo’s on event promotional material and on the webpage and any newspaper advertising is included.
Our sponsorship will also give all OPSEU members a discounted rate on passes for the weekend. Please contact Gord Longhi for any further information and make donation cheques payable to:  Mariposa Folk Foundation.
Please mail cheques to  Attn: Gord Longhi ,     14 Myrtle Avenue, Hawkestone ON L0L 1T0
(If we are able to provide the same sponsorship as last year we will also receive 4 free passes to the event which will be given to Locals that have donated.  The passes will be drawn lottery style and locals will receive one ballot for every hundred dollars donated. )