April 16, 2014 12:30 ET

Unions Come Together to Fight Government Demands for Concessions

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 16, 2014) - Six bargaining agents representing 57,000 Ontario public servants working directly for the government of Ontario are joining together to fight off government demands for devastating cuts to members' financial security and health and wellness benefits.

The unions today pledged their support for AMAPCEO, which is facing unprecedented demands for claw backs, concessions and cuts. The unions believe these demands contradict the recent declaration of the Premier who said "it would be a mistake to declare war on labour… we don't need that kind of risky, radical approach."

The president of AMAPCEO, Gary Gannage says, "the employer is attacking not just AMAPCEO members, retirees and their families, but the entire public service in Ontario. The support of the other public service unions and associations is a powerful message of unity the government should pay attention to."

Gannage today welcomed the support of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the Professional Engineers Government of Ontario (PEGO) and the three other associations who together represent the overwhelming majority of Ontario's public servants.

OPSEU President Smokey Thomas says the negotiators' attitude at the AMAPCEO bargaining table does not bode well for other unions. "A successful attack on AMAPCEO members will only embolden the government when it comes time to bargain with OPSEU. AMAPCEO's fight is our fight, and together we can stand against the employer's efforts to attack OPS employees, retirees and their families."

The President of PEGO, Ping Wu, says while his members cannot legally participate in any job action or strike, "PEGO will continue to support AMAPCEO before or after work, and away from the workplace. The employer's actions are a clear sign of what likely lies in store for PEGO's members."

AMAPCEO last month received a 94% vote in favour in its strike vote. Negotiations are currently deadlocked, and the two sides have agreed to go to mediation.

AMAPCEO is the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario and is a bargaining agent representing approximately 11,500 professional and supervisory employees who work in the Ontario Public Service directly for the Government of Ontario, in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in over 130 communities across the province and in 11 cities outside Canada.

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