TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2022 /CNW/ - The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) say they will continue to stonewall after receiving a reasonable offer from the 170 safety inspectors seeking respect and a fair first contract from management.
After more than a week of silence, the TSSA finally responded to OPSEU/SEFPO with a refusal to even meet to discuss the union's settlement offer. The employer made it clear they were unwilling to make any movement at all from their offer presented on July 20, regardless of the consequences.
"Last week's reasonable offer makes it clear the priority for the inspectors is negotiating a fair deal so they can get back to their rigorous safety inspections that keep us all safe," said OPSEU/SEFPO president JP Hornick. "Every single day these inspectors aren't doing their work is a bad day for this province with real consequences for people. The Employer must stop the games and return to the table. We are confident we can reach an agreement through good faith negotiations. TSSA – get back to the table."
The safety inspectors were forced to go on the picket line five weeks ago on July 21 after the TSSA walked away from the bargaining table.
"Inspectors know what a normal week looks like for us: it's keeping hospitals, construction sites, apartments, escalators and elevators in public transit stations, and more, safe and operating," said OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 Bargaining Team Chair Cory Knipe. "A week is a long time when it comes to safety inspections. We're worried sick for our communities and want to get back to the table so we can get back our inspections."
Safety inspectors are responsible for inspections of construction sites and over 60,000 elevating devices across Ontario. They inspect fuel burning equipment, propane refuelling stations, amusement park rides, food trucks, and elements in nuclear power plants. TSSA safety inspectors also provide invaluable support to emergency services like police and fire services.
Residents in apartments in London and Ottawa say they can't use elevators in their buildings due to the strike. Many report struggling with stairs, including people with disabilities who say they can't leave their apartments.
"Stories about people in apartments struggling because of the elevator inspection backlog are awful and to know people with disabilities are stuck in their apartments is inexcusable," said Hornick. "People are suffering and TSSA can end it by returning to bargaining."
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO)
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