Toronto, ON — Ontario inspectors may soon be hitting the picket line. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union representing TSSA inspectors, has set in motion plans for a strike as of 12:01 a.m. (EDT) on July 21.
The strike will involve around 170 safety inspectors responsible for inspecting boilers and pressure devices, elevators, amusement park rides, nuclear power plants, and facilities that store and handle fuels.
“Safety inspectors are rigorous in performing inspections because we care about keeping everyone in Ontario safe – what we do, it’s a matter of life and death. We’re bargaining for a stronger voice at TSSA because we are qualified experts on the frontlines who know what’s needed to keep Ontarians safe,” said Cory Knipe, bargaining chair for OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546.
Contract negotiations first began in November 2021 after unionizing earlier that year. However, in May 2022, according to Local 546, due to a disappointing lack of cooperation from their employer in bargaining meetings, the members voted 89 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.
On July 4, the ministry of labour issued the ‘no board’ report, triggering the 17-day countdown to a legal strike or lockout.
Despite a potential strike, TSSA will continue to respond to serious safety incidents and inspect any sites classified as high risk. TSSA will also be able to provide services for critical infrastructures, such as hospitals and long-term care homes.
In addition, during a strike, all non-inspection services such as engineering, examinations, licencing, etc. will remain available.
Mediation dates have been scheduled in advance of the July 21 strike deadline. More to come.