The strike continues for roughly 170 Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspectors in Ontario, members of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546.
On Aug. 19, just ahead of the opening of the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, OPSEU/SEFPO said it “made a reasonable contract offer” which addresses core concerns in an attempt to settle the strike by safety inspectors who work for the TSSA.
The workers provide technical safety inspection across the province of numerous installations including construction projects, boilers and elements in nuclear power plants, elevators and escalators and amusement park rides and food trucks.
In July, the parties were negotiating their first collective agreement but OPSEU/SEFPO said it was “forced to strike July 21 after the TSSA walked away from the bargaining table.”
On Aug. 18, OPSEU sent TSSA a response to the final offer, Alexandra Campbell, vice-president, communications and stakeholder relations at TSSA, told the Daily Commercial News.
“At this time we (the bargaining team) are reviewing the offer that they sent and we will be responding,” she explained. “In the meantime, we continue to do what we’ve done since the strike started and that is we have contingency plans in place to deliver on our safety mandate.”
The final offer was originally tabled on July 15. The offer was updated on July 20 to address some of the concerns the inspectors had.
“We did that to avert a strike because they had been driving towards a strike,” she said. “On the 20th we tabled that final offer and it’s complete. It’s something that has everything included, could have been taken for ratification. We were available to discuss it up until midnight and there was silence. They went out on strike and this is really the first we’ve heard from them directly in terms of responding to that final offer we provided.”
OPSEU put out its release the morning of Aug. 19.
“We remain committed to engaging in meaningful bargaining,” said OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 bargaining team chair Cory Knipe in the release. “We have put forward an offer to the TSSA in good faith. We are doing everything we can to try to reach a fair settlement, so we can get back on the job and do the work we are passionate about.”
While TSSA is trying to minimize disruption to businesses, there may be some minor delays on new equipment that might need to be put into service which requires inspection, said Campbell.
Instead of inspectors, supervisors are doing inspections, as are third-party inspectors. Only TSSA staff are inspecting amusement devices, Campbell added.
“We are delivering on everything that is absolutely safety critical, anything that might be high risk and we are certainly able to support critical infrastructure so inspections for hospitals, long-term care homes,” said Campbell.
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