Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

July 30, 2009 10:27 ET

OPSEU: Students Stage Protests on Civic Holiday Weekend at Four Popular Provincial Parks

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 30, 2009) - Student workers at four popular provincial parks will stop cars this civic holiday weekend to tell park users that the McGuinty government is denying vacation and holiday pay to its thousands of student employees, an abuse of the government's own labour laws.

Students at Algonquin, Pinery, Wheatley and Sibbald Point Provincial Parks will stage information pickets as follows:

Algonquin Provincial Park: Friday, July 31, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., east and west entrances to the park. Student contacts: Hilary Sadowsky: (705) 633-5686, Krya Milewski: (705) 633-5572.

Pinery Provincial Park: Friday, July 31, 12 noon - 8 p.m., main entrance. Student contacts: Bryn Price, Donald MacLeod: (519) 615-2796.

Wheatley Provincial Park (Leamington): Friday, July 31, 10 a.m. - 12 noon, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., main entrance. Student contact: Sabrina Crawford: (519) 825-4659.

Sibbald Point Provincial Park (south side of Lake Simcoe): Monday, August 3, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., main entrance. Student contact: Helena Whale: (905) 715-2608.

Students, who received vacation and holiday pay in the past from the government, signed contracts earlier this year that promised them this pay.

The government reneged on these contracts, using the excuse that the Crown is exempt from the vacation and holiday pay provisions of the Employment Standards Act, provisions that apply to all other employers in Ontario.

"We hope the government gets the message loud and clear this weekend: honour your own labour laws and pay the students what they rightfully deserve," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

OPSEU represents the 3,400 high school, college and university students who work for the Ontario government in the summer. Many government operations, including provincial parks, tourist attractions and travel information centres, rely largely on student labour.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Megan Park
    (416) 428-3090
    Website: www.opseu.org