The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The union representing safety inspectors at the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) says contract negotiations have broken down, resulting in 170 of its members walking off the job as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
In a statement posted to its website, OPSEU/SEFPO says safety inspectors with Local 546 have been bargaining for their first contract since November 2021, and talks broke off Wednesday afternoon.
The union says the striking workers inspect amusement park rides, food trucks, elevators, fuel burning equipment, boilers and pressure vessels and elements in nuclear power plants, as well as support to police and fire services.
Key issues in negotiations include wages, benefits, understaffing and improved accountability for public safety standards and practices from the TSSA.
In a statement posted to its website Thursday, the TSSA says it had been engaging in good faith negotiations with the OPSEU since the fall to finalize a first collective agreement for inspectors, but the union representing them decided to strike before the parties could reach an agreement.
The statement says the TSSA provided OPSEU with a full proposal which offers health, dental and pension benefits, and salary increases for a multi-year agreement, according to Laura Desjardins, the TSSA’s vice president of human resources.
She says in the statement the TSSA does not understand why inspectors have chosen to go on strike given the contract offered and they are concerned with the union’s communications that suggest the authority is not bargaining in good faith.
The TSSA says contingency plans are in place to continue to respond to serious safety incidents and inspect any sites classified as high risk, as well as provide services for critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and long-term care homes.