Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

November 07, 2008 11:30 ET

OPSEU Calls Ontario Government's Contract Offer "Slap in the Face"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 7, 2008) - The president of the union representing 42,000 direct employees of the Ontario government calls the employer's opening offer for a new contract a "slap in the face."

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says that he is extremely disappointed with the stance the government has taken at the bargaining table.

"For months now, the government has told us there would be change for the better," Thomas said. "We believed them when they said they wanted a good relationship with their employees and the union. Their actions so far have been completely the opposite."

OPSEU and the government met for the first time on Nov. 4 to exchange proposals for a new contract. Thomas says the long list of concessions the employer is asking for is totally unacceptable.

"What our teams saw on Tuesday was nothing more than a direct attack on the dedicated professional men and women that deliver vital public services to the people of Ontario," Thomas said. "What we saw on Tuesday was a bargaining position that mirrored the worst of the Mike Harris years."

Thomas is calling on the Premier to live up to the words of praise he has for the public service and get bargaining on track.

"Just a month ago, the Premier sent a letter to all public service workers, praising them for their dedication, professionalism and passion for providing service," Thomas said. "We are calling on the Premier to immediately take charge and direct his negotiators to live up to the words that the Premier himself has spoken."

The contract for public service workers expires on Dec. 31, 2008. OPSEU has public service members in 5,000 worksites in 276 communities across the province.

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