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Government workers protest as OPSEU returns to the bargaining table

Unionized protesters, who work for the provincial government, greeted Premier Kathleen Wynne on Tuesday as she arrived at the MaRS Centre for a community event.

OPSEU, the union that represents almost 35,000 workers in fields ranging from transportation and correctional services to child services, staged a picket to protest what they are calling “unfair labour tactics by the government.”

The protest comes after union members gave their bargaining team a 90 per cent strike mandate last month.

Carrying signs reading “privatization does not work,” and “bargain your citizens’ futures fairly,” a small but dedicated group of union members rallied for change.

OPSEU executive board member Ibrahim Bozai said the picket is just a sample of what the premier can expect if the province doesn’t come to the table with something decent.

“Our premier, the so-called social justice premier, wants to jump on the corporate bandwagon by creating low wage, part time precarious work,” he said. “That’s not fair. That’s not a recipe for success. That’s a net zero for all of Ontario.”

OPSEU returned to the bargaining table on Tuesday.

Bohzi said for now there’s no strike deadline.

Wynne did not speak to the media or protesters but released a statement, saying the province has to be fair to both its employees and taxpayers.