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‘We’re hoping to settle this’: Strike deadline nears for Kingston Commissionaires

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WATCH: Union seeking paid sick days in new contract for Canadian Corps of Commissionaires – Jun 12, 2019

The clock is ticking.

Commissionaires who provide security at CFB Kingston will be in a legal strike or lockout position as of midnight on June 23rd. Talks between the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and the Public Service Alliance of Canada recently broke down. The union is seeking paid sick days in a new contract.

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Fred Ebel is the president of PSAC Local 818.

“We’re requesting 2.5 per cent annual pay for sick leave and they’re offering 1 per cent,” Ebel explained.

WATCH: Union officials meet with local MP over decision to privatize cleaning jobs at CFB Kingston

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Union officials meet with local MP over decision to privatize cleaning jobs at CFB Kingston – Aug 28, 2018

Ebel say about 75 commissionaires work at both the base and Royal Military College. He hopes things can get worked out.

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“We’re hoping to settle this; we don’t want to go on strike,” Ebel said. “What we’re looking for is a fair sick leave package due to the fact most of the commissionaires on base are older in age.”

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In a media release from Toronto, the union says the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires was created to provide meaningful, dignified employment to Canada’s veterans. Yet, in Kingston, veterans working for the Commissionaires are earning just above minimum wage, with no sick days.

Sharon DeSousa, is the Ontario regional executive vice-president of PSAC.

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“Since this employer is not taking our issues seriously, we are preparing to take job action to make them listen,” DeSousa said.

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“It’s time the Corps lives up to its mandate and treat these veterans with dignity and respect.”