'AGO employees are in a revolving door. There is no good reason for the lack of full-time positions.' - Paula Whitmore.
Toronto (19 May 2010) - Workers at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will hold an information picket Wednesday to protest the gallery’s attack on full-time jobs.
The employees plan to rally from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the gallery (317 Dundas St. West) in Toronto. Entertainment will feature Rhythms of Resistance and Faith Nolan.
AGO workers will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 21. They are demanding good, full-time jobs and a fair contract.
“Our members are dedicated to the AGO and they want to work,” says Paula Whitmore, AGO staff member and OPSEU Local 535 union steward. “We are committed to the work we do and deserve recognition for full-time hours.”
Many AGO employees are struggling to hold down two part-time jobs, often logging 40 hours per week with no benefits. They are forced by the gallery into accepting part-time work and short term contracts. Work is also often contracted out to external sources.
“AGO employees are in a revolving door,” says Whitmore. “There is no good reason for the lack of full-time positions. Workers are being penalized because of lack of foresight and planning on the part of management.”
The ratio of part-time to full-time staff continues to increase. As recently as 2005 there were 136 full-time and 159 part-time staff. Now there are 177 full-time staff while the number of part-time staff has grown to 266.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE