While the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a ‘Not-For-Profit’ company, boasts that this ‘organization’ has become a ‘cash machine’ under his watch, the workers responsible for CSA’s success are being told things like a decent pension, improvements to the vision plan, and basic respect, are just not affordable.
CSA’s CEO, Ash Sahi, boasted, in a recent article in the Globe & Mail, how he has turned this ‘Not-For-Profit’ organization around; they have no debt, $150 million in the bank, and is now a cash machine. “He states that he eliminated levels of management when, in reality, there have been two layoffs of employees since 2010, while management ranks have swelled,” states Paul Benson, President of Local 967 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 967).
It’s a message the 270 members of Local 967 think the public should know as the union attempts to bargain a fair collective agreement with CSA.
During months of negotiations, CSA has demanded the workers responsible for making CSA a ‘cash machine’ accept less and less, whether it’s for pensions, wages, or benefits.
Management regularly awards themselves annual pay raises of between 3 and 10 per cent, and “select Executive Employees” put themselves in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan — unionized staff are being offered improvements that barely keep up with inflation and substandard pension plans for new employees.
Late last month, Local 967 requested a ‘No Board’ report from the Provincial Ministry of Labour, a step taken when one or both sides in a labour negotiation feel they have reached an impasse. The two sides will be in a legal strike or lockout position at 12:01 a.m., November 2.
The union hopes to achieve a fair collective agreement with the assistance of a provincially-appointed mediator who will meet with both sides on November 1.
CUPE 967 represents 270 technical and clerical staff at CSA’s Rexdale and Mississauga offices.
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