AGO workers have voted 96% in favour of a strike, confirming that they are ready to walk out if they are not offered a fair deal. Overwhelming turnout for the vote came as 39 employees were due to be let go.
It looks like Tut is not the only “Golden King” at the AGO. The 2009 sunshine list has just been released, revealing that AGO CEO, Matthew Teitelbaum, received close to a million dollars in paid salary last year. Given the planned layoffs, it is ironic that this amount includes a bonus for reaching fundraising targets.
“The AGOs lack of respect for their employees is highlighted by their CEO’s salary” says OPSEU President, Smokey Thomas. “First they pay out a massive bonus to Matthew Teiltelbaum, and now they cut the jobs of the front-line workers who provide the quality services that the public depends on.”
“Moving ahead with job cuts in the middle of negotiating a collective agreement, the AGO has further destabilized the bargaining process.” says union spokesperson Paula Whitmore. Both parties will be meeting with a conciliator on April 14th.
Announcing in February that it will be receiving a $7.5 million contribution from the federal government’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the AGO plans to use this funding for a planned new Weston Family Learning Centre. It is unclear how they will staff this new venture.
OPSEU local 535 has been without a contract since November, 2009. Key issues in negotiations have been job security and layoffs.