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Union calls for 2010 strike vote
by Bill Robinson

Contract talks between the Niagara Parks Commission and the union representing its employees have broken down, with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 217 calling for a strike vote early in the new year. OPSEU Local 217, which represents roughly 600 full-time and seasonal NPC employees, has been without a contract since Oct. 31, 2009.

A statement issued by staff representative and OPSEU negotiator Pati Habermann last Friday said the Parks Commission had tabled concession demands and filed for conciliation. The union announced it would hold a strike vote in early January. “Despite the best attempts of the bargaining team, the employer has refused to entertain any substantial union proposals. Citing ‘philosophical differences,’ the employer will not respond to issues such as job security, scheduling, seniority and hours of work, issues identified as being top priorities for employees,” Habermann said. “The employer’s position so far is to table concessions in layoff language, benefits scheduling, leaves and an attempt to introduce a two-tier wage system for seasonal members.” more…