The 44 personal support workers at the North Bay Motherhouse on Main Street West hit the picket lines today.
SEIU Union officials say the key points are contract language and wages. The workers here have been working without a contract since 2015.
“There’s some contract language and still some outstanding issues on wages,” stated Joe Buote, an SEIU Service Manager based out of Richmond Hill.
“They are looking for basically a standard that is owed there. It’s not above and beyond and standards that have been set in kind of the like work in the province but it’s not 2 percent.”
Buote says the mood is positive despite the fact they started picketing at 6 a.m. on the day after North Bay’s first snow storm.
“Everybody is supportive, they are ready to go, they feel strong about their issues. They feel they have put a lot of work and effort into the place,” he said.
“They’ve taken a lot of pride in their work and they are here for the long haul, they are here for however long it takes.”
The North Bay Labour Council was not on the picket line early this morning but they have already thrown out their support for the personal support workers on the picket line today.
“The North Bay and District Labour Council and the labour community in North Bay are firmly behind the 44 personal support workers, dietary, housekeeping, and maintenance staff that work at the Motherhouse,” says Henri Giroux, North Bay and District Labour Council president in a release.
“These SEIU workers have been doing a great job and deserve a fair deal,” says Giroux.
“These workers care for elderly citizens and deserve to earn a decent wage, one that pays the same as care providers doing the same job elsewhere. The labour community in North Bay will be out there to support,” Giroux concluded.