Craigwood and OPSEU Golf Tournament, another successful year

John Newland won a Gift Card for "closest drive to the pin"
John Newland posing by his marker that won him the Gift Card for “closest drive to the pin”. Amazing drive John!
Jolene Heffernan won a Gift Card for the women's "Longest Drive"
Jolene Heffernan decisively won the Gift Card for the women’s “Longest Drive”

Craigwood and OPSEU hosted their 2nd annual golf tournament.  Management and members came out together for a fun day of golf and dinner.  The weather was a bit chilly and they avoided the rain. The tournament ended in a tie between two teams after 18 holes.  It was decided to have a “putt off” on the 18th green so that everyone was able to spectate from the comforts of the balcony of the clubhouse.  Joe “out-putted” Braden that afternoon to secure the win for his team!

Everyone had a great time and it was another great opportunity for management and employees to get out for some good clean fun.  Looking forward to next years tournament!

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Craigwood Youth Services OPSEU Bargaining team has asked for “No Board Report”

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The bargaining team has requested a No Board Report with the Ministry of Labor after the conciliator was unsuccessful in persuading the employer to remove non-negotiable items, such as Pay Equity and Personal Grievances, from the bargaining table. Human rights should not and can not be negotiated away.
Aside from a wage increase that is far far below cost of living and some general housekeeping items, the employees are being exposed to significant takeaways such as the employers refusal to pay for the medical & dental benefits of employees who have been attacked and/or permanently injured from their work at Craigwood. When employees are regularly exposed to violence in the workplace without WSIB coverage it is irresponsible to take away their medical & dental benefits when they are left on LTD.
An emergency meeting has been scheduled for July 23rd for the Craigwood OPSEU members to prepare for an August 17th strike deadline.
The bargaining team has been scheduled to have mediation with the employer on August 15th. Stay tuned for how you can help!

Craigwood Members Unanimously Reject Offer

The members at Craigwood Youth Services have sent a clear message today as 93% of the voters rejected the employers offer to ratify a collective agreement that expired in August of 2010.
The employers offer to take away benefits from members who are on Long Term Disability due to illness or physical assaults in the workplace offended employees.
The membership also spoke out against the employers notice to begin a new process of filling shifts which they have described as a system of equal distribution. Their system fails to give much credence for seniority and will reduce shifts for experienced senior relief staff.
In addition, the lack of effort to explore several “no cost” improvements to various working conditions combined with an offer that essentially proposed a 4 year wage freeze was another one of the main reasons the bargaining team was asked to go back to the table. Being asked to accept a contract that spanned over 4 years without providing any cost of living increases was taken as an insult by many as we work in a demanding career that typically requires a 3-year post secondary education to help our hard to serve youth in a sector where we are already underpaid and working without WSIB coverage.
The employers attempt to negotiate their commitment to follow the Pay Equity Act requirements by giving the required 1% each year was also not well received.
Members recognized that we are in a tough economy and many public services are under attack to reduce the provincial deficit. We feel the public needs to know that all public services are not treated equally and many of us in the BPS transfer payment agencies, especially in the Corrections and Child Treatment Sectors, work close to the poverty line. Many employees are only making a few dollars over minimum wage as we work with some of the provinces highest risk youth. We are exposed to levels of violence and situations that the average person would never experience.
Stay tuned for updates as we make plans to share our concerns through various means as our bargaining team gets back to the table with Craigwood Youth Services.

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Another Great Craigwood OPSEU Christmas Party

The annual Craigwood OPSEU Christmas party went off without a hitch for yet another year.

It was a great chance for employees to bring out their families to have fun and interact with each-other.  Our focus at work is on our youth and their family so we always enjoy making  this one day a year to focus on our own families.

Thanks to one of our local grocery stores we added a draw for a free frozen turkey this year.  Congratulations Rebecca!  Hope you and your family enjoy it!

Santa made it again this year and it looked like everyone one of children avoided getting put on the naughty list.  The kids had a great time getting their presents and playing together in the OPSEU hall.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves and it was a fun way to kick of the Christmas season!

A special thanks to Craigwood Youth Services and OPSEU for their contributions to make this annual event happen.

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Craigwood’s Amalgamation Has Been Stopped

At the end of this past week all of the Craigwood Youth Services employees received an email from their executive director informing them that the amalgamation process has been stopped.
It appears that one of the main reasons was the ministry would not provide funding for salary harmonization. None of the bargaining units had been involved in any discussions around proposed plans of wages, benefits or salary harmonization.
Craigwood will no longer need to leave Local 166. Stay tuned for more information.

It Was A Great Day For Craigwood’s Amalgamation Golf Tournament

Team "Off in the Shower" almost beat "Two Plus Joe"

Members from Craigwood had a great day at the Amalgamation Golf Tournament.

We still aren’t sure why the 4 employers involved in the amalgamation withdrew their financial support for the Amalgamation Golf Tournament that they had initiated.  The OPSEU Bargaining units for WAYS, Madame Vanier and  Craigwood along with Local 166 all chipped in money to pay for some food and a prize table.
The weather was perfect and we narrowly avoided a thunderstorm.  It was a great opportunity to unwind and get to know everyone a little better.
Jeff and Marie