OPSEU members vote to strike at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora

Bargaining for first collective agreement began in 2014

Employees at Community Living Newmarket/Aurora gave the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) a 94 per cent strike mandate.

The union members, who work in group homes in support of residents with developmental disabilities, voted in favour of strike action on March 3.

“Our members are speaking with one loud voice,” said Kelly Holmes, chair of the bargaining team for OPSEU Local 386.

“We are frustrated with the employer dragging out the negotiations.”

OPSEU Local 386 was certified in January 2014 but has yet to reach its first collective agreement.

Bargaining between the parties began in November 2014 and conciliation began in September 2015. Two days of conciliation are scheduled for next week.

According to the union, employees are also waiting for the funding increase rolled out for front-line community living agencies in February 2015.

“They do important work and group homes couldn’t function without them,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of OPSEU.

“They have OPSEU’s full backing in their ongoing efforts to achieve a fair first contract.”

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