OPSEU demands workers terminated after raising safety concerns at Alliston organization be reinstated
More than 100 members and allies of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) gathered outside the head office of a community group in Alliston that provides care for people living with developmental disabilities to demand the termination of three workers be reversed.
"Shame, shame on this employer," said OPSEU Local 330 president Kelly Martin.
Protestors braved the chilly temperatures Tuesday afternoon, proudly waving flags in solidarity outside Community Living Association for South Simcoe (CLASS) head office for three developmental service workers allegedly fired for raising health and safety concerns.
"We're not talking about just little bumps and bruises. We're talking about concussions, broken bones and stitches and staff being taken away in ambulances," said former CLASS support worker Tristan Wazonek.
Former senior support worker Ashley Armstrong claims she was attacked by a client inside a CLASS group home, having suffered a concussion and having to take seven weeks off work.
Former senior support worker Ashley Armstrong said she suffered a concussion after being attacked by a client inside a CLASS group home. (Supplied)
"It was scary, and I was off work for a long period of time," Armstrong said she and others in the local union brought their concerns to management.
"They want to keep everyone with their mouth shut, is what they're doing. They're just letting people go," she added.
Former CLASS employee and OPSEU Local 332 president Allen May was among those who lost their jobs.
May worked for more than 32 years caring for the community's most vulnerable and said he was let go for demanding a safer work environment.
"So we had a rally, and that was enough for them. They fired us," May said.
"So rather than address the root causes of understaffing, of underfunding, what they're doing instead is forcing people out the door who have actually been the victims," said OPSEU / SEFPO President JP Hornick.
OPSEU members and allies gather in Alliston, Ont., outside Community Living Association for South Simcoe head office on Tues., March 7, 2023. (CTV News/Mike Arsalides)
CLASS executive director Andrew Walker released a statement to CTV News, acknowledging OPSEU's right to lawfully gather, "although we fiercely disagree with the union's claims as it relates to three former CLASS employees who were dismissed of their duties."
Walker noted the details of the terminations would remain between the organization and individuals, "however, we can share that these dismissals were grounded in facts related to the applicable laws and aligned with not only our policies but our values."
The statement concluded: "The well-being and safety of both employees and people supported have always been and will always be top of mind in all planning and support decisions and training provided. Any reports of violence or threats are taken seriously and treated with an immediate response.
CLASS has a proven track record of providing a safe work environment, as evidenced by annual compliance audits by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and positive inspections by the Ministry of Labour."
Still, it isn't enough for the union, which confirmed it plans to continue fighting until it's satisfied the health and safety concerns raised by its members are addressed and the dismissed employees are reinstated.
HEALTH ALERT | Wildfire smoke intensifies over Simcoe County
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Freeland's budget bill passes House after Poilievre pledges to block it
The federal budget implementation bill passed the House of Commons on Thursday, after days of Conservative attempts to block it.
'Tremendous amount we could be doing': Expert shares tips for preventing, adapting to wildfires
As wildfires rage across Canada in what’s being called an unprecedented season, one expert says there’s more that individuals and communities can do to adapt and prevent forest fires from causing widespread devastation.
Supreme Court of Canada won't hear unvaccinated woman's case for organ donation
The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of an Alberta woman who was unwilling to be vaccinated in order to get a life-saving organ transplant.
Are more interest rate hikes on the way? Here's what experts say
In the wake of the Bank of Canada’s unexpected rate hike, economists are pointing to further tightening in the near term.
10-year-old girl survives more than 24 hours alone in the rugged Cascade mountains after getting lost while out with her family
Rescuers in Washington state are praising the resourcefulness of a 10-year-old girl who survived on her own for more than 24 hours in the rugged terrain of the Cascade mountains after getting lost while out with her family.
Wildfire battles continue as heat, air quality alerts affect most of Canada
Air pollution from wildfires remained well above healthy levels across much of southern and northern Ontario and several communities in British Columbia and Alberta on Thursday.
4 very young children critically wounded in knife attack in French Alpine town
As bystanders screamed for help, a man with a knife stabbed four young children at a lakeside park in the French Alps on Thursday, assaulting at least one in a stroller repeatedly. The children between 22 months and 3 years old suffered life-threatening injuries, and two adults also were wounded, authorities said.
Liberals unveil plan to make hybrid House of Commons sittings permanent
Government House Leader Mark Holland has unveiled the federal Liberals' plans to make hybrid sittings a permanent feature in the House of Commons.
Premier remains mum on funding to search Manitoba landfill for remains of 2 women
The decision to search a Winnipeg-area landfill for the remains of two First Nations women and who will fund it remains up in the air a month after a feasibility study was completed.
Higgs government faces caucus revolt over changes to LGBTQ school policy in N.B.
New Brunswick students under the age of 16 who identify as trans and non-binary won't be able to officially change their names or pronouns in school without parental consent.
Halifax says more residents can return home Friday after wildfires
The Halifax Regional Municipality says it will announce Thursday when more residents can return to their homes in communities impacted by the Tantallon wildfires.
N.B. shellfish company shuttered over improper storage of shell waste: environment minister
A company at the centre of a community fight over what residents in the town of Beaurivage, N.B. say is a powerful stench has been ordered to cease operations.
Quebec wildfires: fierce fight in Normetal as flames within 500 metres of municipality
Quebec's public security minister preached patience on Thursday as fires continued to rage in the province's north, saying it remained unclear when more than 12,000 people displaced by the encroaching flames would be able to return home.
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre opens up about life after stroke, depression
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, who spent his life in politics, collapsed and suffered a stroke on April 11, and even as he's slowly recovering, the fighter's instinct, that he's known for, is very much alive.
Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
Air quality improves over Ottawa, but smoky skies could return on Friday
People in the Ottawa-Gatineau area are breathing fresher air, as smoke and haze from wildfires in northern Ontario and Quebec moves out of the area.
Bear spotted in Kanata neighbourhood 'safely placed in a cage', police say
Police received a call about a bear sighting in the 500 block of Woodchase Street, near Breckenridge Crescent, at approximately 9 a.m.
New all-electric boat sets sail on the Ottawa River
Ottawa Boat Cruise unveiled its second all-electric boat on Thursday, and announced plans to green its full fleet over the next three years.
Video captures bus plowing into stopped traffic in deadly Mississauga, Ont. crash
Video has surfaced showing a Mississauga, Ont. transit bus plowing into stopped traffic in a crash that left one person dead and at least eight injured on Thursday morning.
LIVE | Smoke in Toronto to get worse Thursday with air quality set to plummet
Toronto's air quality will get worse before it gets better as smoke from Canada's wildfires lingers in the city.
European family turfed from long-term Airbnb in Toronto to test renters’ rights
A European family who says they were evicted from their long-term Airbnb rental in Toronto last week has sparked a precedent-setting fight.
Cyclist taken to hospital after crash in Kitchener
A cyclist has been taken to an out-of-region hospital with what police call “potentially serious injuries” after a crash involving a vehicle in Kitchener.
Fire at Waterloo house displaces 7 people
Firefighters were called to the house on Laurel Street around noon Thursday.
No working smoke alarms in fatal Waterloo house fire
Fire officials have confirmed there were no working smoke alarms at a fatal house fire in Waterloo earlier this week.
Pride and prejudice: Wortley Pride event learning from controversy during inaugural event
The second annual Wortley Pride Festival takes place June 10 in Wortley Village. During the inaugural event in 2022, a disruption occurred that led to charges against a London, Ont. man, and while off putting for organizers, they have learned from that experience.
Victim transported to hospital after stabbing, 18-year-old man facing charges
A Hanover, Ont. man is left with life-altering injuries after being stabbed following an overnight dispute, Hanover’s chief of police said on Twitter.
Power restored in parts of Exeter
Police, fire and Hydro One are currently on scene attempting to restore power — there is no estimated time for restoration.
Wildfire evacuation order west of Sudbury, Ont., expands, highway closed
A wildfire west of Sudbury, Ont., has quadrupled in size prompting evacuation orders to be expanded and one highway to close.
Another northern Ont. resident charged for illegal backyard fire, 5th in one week
A fifth person in northern Ontario has been charged in less than a week for having a campfire during the fire ban.
Here's what you need to do before you leave your house in a forest fire-prompted evacuation
Thousands of Canadians have had to leave their homes in several provinces over the last few weeks due to forest fires. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your property, both prior to an evacuation and during.
Woman’s body found in Windsor field
Windsor police say they discovered the body of a deceased female in a field near Northway Avenue.
Firefighters battling garage fire in east Windsor
Windsor firefighters are responding to an upgraded working garage in east Windsor.
Amherstburg reveals first-ever rainbow crosswalk representing inclusivity
Amherstburg is stepping into being more inclusive with the town’s first-ever rainbow crosswalk.
Worker buried in trench collapse during sewer repairs in Charleswood
One person was injured after a trench collapsed in the community of Charleswood on Thursday.
Southern Alberta town cancels alert after cougar sighting
The Town of Magrath issued an alert for dangerous animal after a cougar was spotted on the Magrath nature trail early Thursday morning.
CJAY92 donates $20K to Calgary family whose van was stolen, hurting 5-year-old's T-shirt business
After a string of devastating setbacks, a Calgary family has just had a significant change of luck.
'Men like to strike women': Judge slams culture of domestic violence in Sask. during murder sentencing
A man who killed his ex-wife’s cousin will spend life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years, a judge decided on Thursday at Saskatoon’s Court of King’s Bench.
Veteran Saskatoon city councillor Glen Penner dead at 82
Long-time city councillor and former Saskatchewan Liberal MLA Glen Penner died on Monday, according to a Saskatoon obituary.
Saskatoon property taxes could see 13 per cent hike as city confronts $75M revenue gap
Significant property tax hikes may be needed to cover a funding shortfall, according to City of Saskatoon administration.
Part of Yellowhead County evacuated because of wildfire
An evacuation order was issued for an area near the McLeod River in Yellowhead County on Thursday at noon.
More sexual assault charges laid against John and Leigh Ann de Ruiter
A self-proclaimed spiritual leader and his wife are facing more sexual assault charges, Edmonton police announced Thursday.
Alberta premier plays down prospect of advisory council of defeated candidates
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is playing down an earlier pledge to create a council of defeated Edmonton candidates to advise her.
WATCH LIVE | B.C. officials to provide update on wildfire situation, air quality
Smoke has eased in much of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, but air quality advisories remain in place.
Brazilian curling champion pleads guilty to B.C. sex crimes involving underage victims
A youth curling coach who was a three-time Brazilian champion in the sport has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual interference, according to authorities in B.C.
Port Moody police seek missing couple last seen 2 weeks ago
Police in Port Moody are asking the public for help locating a young couple that hasn't been seen in two weeks.