TORONTO, June 15, 2021 /CNW/ - OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling for fairness at the Black Creek Community Health Centre, which is refusing to give its striking workers a modest wage increase while giving its executives generous raises.
Nearly 70 predominantly Black and racialized OPSEU/SEFPO members at the Toronto health centre had no choice but to go on strike this week after the employer walked away from the table, despite receiving assurances from the provincial government to fund a one per cent wage increase.
"This employer claims it doesn't have the money to provide a one per cent annual increase but it's giving senior executives generous pay hikes every year," said Thomas. "How is that fair? Something stinks to high heavens here."
Cheryl Prescod, the health centre's Executive Director, enjoyed a salary increase of $30,000 since taking the job five years ago. Some members of her management team received more than a 17 per cent wage increase in the last three years – more than 17 times the increase she's willing to give striking OPSEU/SEFPO members for the next three years.
"I want to know if Ms. Prescod received approval from the Ministry of Health to provide these raises, or the funding needed to cover them," said Thomas.
OPSEU/SEFPO also wants Ms. Prescod to reveal how much public money is being spent on the Toronto law firm that has taken over negotiations with unionized workers.
First Vice President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida says the public has a right to know how much money has been squandered on Dunsmore Law.
"It is clear that Black Creek has its spending priorities completely backwards," said Almeida. "They're spending money on lawyers and their senior managers instead of health care delivery and their front-line workers.
"These front-line workers need to be treated like the front-line heroes they are," Almeida added. "They make sacrifices every day for the health of their community, the least they deserve is to be treated fairly."
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO)
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