After spending $276 million dollars on a Frank Gehry-designed expansion in 2009, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) laid off 29 workers. This year the jobs of 39 additional workers are threatened. Meanwhile increasing numbers of AGO employees are hired on a part-time or casual basis. According to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union that represents AGO employees, in 2005 the gallery had 136 full-time and 159 part-time staff. Today there are 177 full-time staff and the number of part-time staff has grown to 266. Toronto’s biggest booster of the virtues of creative employment (which often ends up being casual or part-time), Richard Florida, is appointed by the Province of Ontario to serve on the Board of the AGO.
AGO workers will be in a legal strike position on May 21, 2010. Join these workers at a rally in front of the AGO on May 19 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Find more information here: http://www.opseu.org/news/press2010/may-18-2010.htm