‘Instead of helping our community, our employer is more interested in keeping staff and users under their thumbs,’ says CUPE 4772 President

Members of Local 4772 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 4772) were today joined by community supporters at a rally in front of the San Romanoway Revitalization Association (SRRA). Their goal:  to draw attention to the negative impact management’s flagrant violations of the Labour Relations Act are having on the agency’s ability to meet the needs of the community.

“For more than two years, this agency could have directed their energies into fulfilling their mandate and serving this community. Instead, they have chosen a path of stubbornness and retaliation against their employees,” said CUPE 4772 President Farid C. Partovi. CUPE 4772 currently represents SRRA staff.

“Stephnie Payne (SRRA’s Executive Director), and her management team, could have chosen to see the importance of good jobs in our community. Instead, she and her team decided it was more important to keep workers and the community her agency serves under her thumb,” he added.

In 2014, frontline workers at SRRA organized their workplace with the support of CUPE. Since then, Payne and upper management have waged a well-documented campaign of reprisals against staff perceived to be union supporters and have refused to seriously bargain a first contract with the union.

In May of 2015, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) found Payne and other managers had repeatedly violated the provincial Labour Relations Act by engaging in reprisals against staff who chose to join the union. The board’s ruling found Payne’s denials of the accusations to be “implausible” and that her, and her management team’s, testimony was “riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.”

“Ms. Payne’s choices have had real world consequences in our community. Vital and popular programming for our youth has been cancelled in the name of settling scores against union activists,” said Partovi.

“Six people who Ms. Payne believed to be union supporters lost their jobs, in one way or another. On their behalf, and the behalf of the people who depend on SRRA, it is crucial that all members of the Jane-Finch community are informed of the profoundly negative impact Ms. Payne’s actions are having on people,” he added.

For more information, please contact:

Farid C. Partovi
CUPE 4772 President

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications