Lodge Workers Rally
Thursday, November 1, 2012 3:54 AMby
OPSEU President lends support to Participation Lodge workers on strike.
50 striking workers at Participation Lodge are not giving up the fight in their nearly six week old walkout.
Some held a rally outside of St. Matthew's Lutheran Manor in Hanover over the noon hour on Wednesday, and they received a big morale boost when OPSEU President Smokey Thomas dropped by to show his support.
Thomas vowed he will hold management's feet to the fire in the name of accountability.
As workers enter their sixth week of a strike, the union is calling on Participation Lodge Executive Director Elaine Kerr to return to the table with a fair offer for workers.
Thomas says the real issue around this strike is accountability among management.
He is lobbying both the Ministry of Health and the LHIN for review of the books by an outside agency.
According to Thomas -- there is currently one manager for every five workers and almost half of the Lodge's budget pays for management salaries.
Thomas also says he received a call from the Minister of Health's Office, saying they are looking into this situation.
Thomas's advise to Participation Lodge Executive Director Elaine Kerr is to either come back to the bargaining table or dust off her resume.
Kerr has said their three year offer with an average salary increase of 1.7 per cent is their best offer -- but the union is seeking a 3.5 per cent raise.
About 25 of the 50 striking workers attended the rally in Hanover on Wednesday.
Participation Lodge workers provide services to seniors and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.