Thunder Bay child care workers hold information picket

OPSEU calls for cost-of-living wage increase

Child care workers at W. J. Griff’s Children’s Centre – Community Living Thunder Bay (CLTB) held an informational picket on Feb. 25.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 740 — the union representing the 14 employees — filed for conciliation on Feb. 18 after the parties failed to come to an agreement on a collective agreement.

The information picket called for the community’s support as the employees spoke out against the employer’s latest offer. According to the union, the employer is seeking a four-year contract with no wage increases.

“These workers provide quality care and education for children, including many who have special needs. They deserve a wage that recognizes the important service they provide to the children and their families,” said OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

The CLTB staff is highly trained, both parties agreed, but the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board said there is no money for the cost-of-living wage increase employees are calling for.

The union reported a lack of funds provided by the Ministry of Education is to blame, saying workers feel trapped in the middle.

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