Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

April 15, 2009 11:54 ET

New Funding for AGO Means Layoffs Should be Rescinded: OPSEU

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 15, 2009) -

Attention Assignment desks

Now that the government has increased funding to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the AGO must reverse its decision to lay off staff, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said today.

On April 8, as part of a $43.4 million investment in cultural attractions, the Ontario government increased this year's funding to the gallery by $8.6 million and added new annual operating funding of $10 million.

Yet one day later, on April 9, the gallery laid off 26 full-time and part-time employees. Many long-time employees who have been with the gallery for decades were made to feel like they were being summarily fired and shunted out the door. The AGO is posting part-time replacement positions for the same jobs as laid-off workers, or replacing them with volunteers.

In a letter to AGO CEO Matthew Teitelbaum, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas asked for an immediate halt to the layoffs. "We will not stand by while the AGO pretends to care about the public and at the same time uses union-busting tactics against decent working people who have thrown their lives into this work on behalf of the public," he said.

OPSEU and members of the public will picket the gallery at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, April 15.

"I don't know how Teitelbaum can look himself in the mirror after saying to our staff only last week that the new AGO is a wondrous thing, brimming with life and deep potential to change the way people experience the world," Thomas said.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Don Ford