OPSEU President Smokey Thomas on the picket line in Owen Sound. (BlackburnNews.com file photo by Kirk Scott)

Strike Continues At Owen Sound Family Health Team

The president of OPSEU says he’s going to “turn the heat up” the owners of the Owen Sound Family Health Team.

Warren “Smokey” Thomas was on the picket line with the 30 members of OPSEU, employees of the Health Team.

The RNs, RPNs, clerical and custodial workers, have been on strike since May 22.

The workers turned down an offer of 1% a year over three years.

There’s been no movement since from the doctors who own the Family Health Team.

Thomas says he’s starting a media campaign, including putting the doctors’ pictures in major newspapers.

“And I’ll say this right on the radio, I’m going to find their pictures, we’re going to put their pictures in newspaper adds, I’m going to turn right on the owners. I’ll do this on behalf of the workers and we will turn the heat up on them,” said Thomas.

In an email, the executive director of the Owen Sound Family Health Team, Karen Smith Turner, stated:

It is important to note that both the Owen Sound Family Health Team and the Union’s negotiating committees agreed to the terms of a new collective agreement, which they unanimously recommended for acceptance. While the physicians accepted the recommendation and ratified the collective agreement, the employees did not accept the recommendation of the Union’s own bargaining committee. The strike resulted. The OSFHO remains convinced that the agreement that was concluded between the committees was reasonable and that it represented the appropriate balance between improving terms of employment and allowing the OSFHO to maintain quality healthcare services.