Six weeks after unionized workers walked off the job at the Owen Sound Family Health Team, collective bargaining remains at a standstill.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union Regional VP Lucy Morton tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the doctors who own the Owen Sound Family Health Organization (OSFHO) have not come back to the table after workers rejected a three-year contract proposal that offered an annual one per cent raise, but clawed back pension contributions.
Some 30 nursing, clerical and custodial workers have been on the picket lines since May 22.
OPSEU spokesperson David Cox says the OSFHO is privately owned by 22 doctors.
A statement from the OSFHO calls the Union's proposal out of alignment with financial realities, highlighting the fact the OSFHO and union negotiators had reached terms on a new agreement prior to the strike that was rejected by workers.
"The OSFHO remains convinced that the agreement that was concluded between the committees was reasonable," the statement reads.
It goes on to say the OSFHO also raised its offer to include salary increases to some employees of up to five per cent, while conceding some tradeoffs were required in pension contributions currently solely funded by the employer.
"The union's latest position still represents a wage increase which would average 10.7% in the first year alone," the OSFHO statement explains. "That increase does not account for the costs of the other improvements that the union already achieved in collective bargaining."
Today, picketers were pacing the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the FHT building, causing brief hold-ups for vehicles entering and exiting.
Morton says they're just trying to get doctors to respect the bargaining process and negotiate.
She says some doctors at the OSFHO have resorted to using derogatory words, bullying and harassment while encountering striking workers outside the Family Health Team building.
"I think everybody in this particular community would be shocked that these so-called professionals would use words like this," Morton says. "There has been a history of feeling abused and harassed by (members) from the doctors and their staff above. This supports that."
While there have been no bargaining talks, Workers say they are being bullied and harassed by doctors in the facility as doctors move by the lines. One female doctor came out today to fling these message statements at picketers. @NewsBayshore pic.twitter.com/Nn2n8uFwgB— Matt Hermiz (@MattHermiz) July 5, 2018