The Union representing approximately sixty (60) counselors for the developmentally disabled in Wiarton has set a strike deadline of November 26, 2010 after protracted negotiations to get a first collective agreement with their employer, Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living (BPACL), failed.
The workers in the bargaining unit help individuals handicapped with a developmental and/or emotional disability live in the community so that they can have as fulfilling a life as possible. BPACL operates 4 group homes and 2 day programmes in Wiarton, and provides individual and family supports in the Wiarton area.
The workers certified the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) as their bargaining agent late in 2009 and have been negotiating their first contract of employment since that time. Ted Loughead, the OPSEU Staff Representative assisting the employees in their negotiations: “Our members are standing together for each other.” he said “The issues in dispute are simple: since 80% of these jobs are part-time, we want managers to stop doing our work; we want our long service with the agency recognized when applying for positions with more hours; and we want some rules around the use of training dollars”.
The parties will meet with a mediator from the Ministry of Labour on November 25 in a last ditch effort to avoid a strike.