Bargaining Update

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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