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The first, face-to-face bargaining in seven weeks has failed to achieve a settlement in the strike at Autumn House womens shelter in Amherst, Nova Scotia.

CUPE National RepresentativeTerry Goulding says, We are basically down to two, major issues which are standing in the way of a settlement.  This Board of Directors is insisting on a major concession to the employees long term disability plan (LTD) which amounts to a 50% cost increase to the workers.

They are also demanding a move to 12-hour shifts which would have a major impact on peoples lives and health, says Goulding.

This is extremely frustrating because the employers position amounts to giving with one hand through a modest wage increase, and then taking it all away with the concession to the LTD benefits.  The union put a compromise position on the table and they simply rejected it, says Goulding.

Meanwhile, supporters of the striking shelter workers will gather in Amherst for a candlelight vigil and march on October 18.

Scheduled speakers include some of Nova Scotias most powerful labour leaders:

  • Betty Jean Sutherland, President of CUPENova Scotia
  • Brian Forbes, President of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union
  • Janet Hazelton, President of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union
  • Ross Grimes, CUPE Atlantic Regional Director

The Amherst shelter workers have been on strike since August 11.  They are members of Local 4326.

CUPE is encouraging visitors to cupe.ca to send an email to Autumn House board chair Mary Dee MacPherson. In the last week shes received more than 100 emails from around the planet urging her to negotiate an end to the dispute.

Add your voice to those calling for fairness and respect for the Amherst 10. Perhaps if this week she gets 1000 emails, there will be a settlement.