Conciliator will assist negotiations at Ontario’s HopeGreyBruce facility

Workers seek higher wages, dental benefits: OPSEU

Employees at HopeGreyBruce Mental Health and Addictions Services will enter into conciliation with their employer on Feb. 13.

The employer has delayed the original conciliation date of Jan. 11 and staff members hope a conciliator will help them reach a fair collective agreement, according to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

The 65 members at HopeGreyBruce in Owen Sound, Ont., voted strongly last October in favour of a strike, said the union.

A key concern is that members have only received a one per cent wage increase in the past 10 years. Workers are also asking for dental benefits, in keeping with other comparable agencies, said OPSEU.

"Our members have stood out in the wind and the snow at information pickets because we are serious about our commitment to the workplace and our community. I know this contract can be easily settled once it is a priority," said Andrew Drake, OPSEU unit steward and bargaining team chair.

Established in 1985, HopeGreyBruce Mental Health and Addictions Services is a non-profit agency that serves about 2,000 clients every year through two addictions programs and eight community mental health programs.

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