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CHATHAM, ON – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 12.3, representing 38 Public Health Unit employees in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, have been meeting with a conciliator since May 3, 2011 to move forward and reach a fair agreement with their employer.
Local 12.3 has been in negotiations since 2010 and have held a strike vote with its members; 98 per cent of the members voted in favour of a strike if a fair agreement can’t be reached with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

We are doing our best to reach a settlement with the help of a provincial conciliator” said Suanne Hawkins, CUPE National Representative. “If management addresses our demand not to shuffle money intended for Public Health to other programs, then we would be willing to sign a letter of settlement tomorrow,” she added.

This employer has increased the number of management positions receiving over $100,000 to 24 over the past year; and management is trying to convince the public this is the result of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 1996!” said CUPE Local 12 President, Glenn Harding. “Our front line service workers will receive far less than the CPI with the offer we have currently on the table. We only want to ensure that any increase in money earmarked to improve Public Health Services goes to our front line staff, which provides these services!” He added.

The members of CUPE Local 12.3 at the Public Health Unit provide a wide range of important services to the community such as hospital liaison, adult/teen prenatal education support, sexual health education, health promotion including dental care for vulnerable children in the community, immunization and communicable disease investigations, food safety inspections, environmental health programs, rabies control and exposure; safe water reports and many more.

For more information:

Glenn Harding, President, CUPE Local 12:  519-410-3350
Suanne Hawkins, National Representative:  519-966-9595
Christian Martel, Communications Representative:  416-292-3999