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TIMMINS, Ont. – There’s no end in sight to the strike by 150 Child and Family Services of Timmins and District workers after the employer tabled a two-tier contract proposal that would force newly hired workers to take on an evening shift, warned CUPE.

Management is trying to force an evening shift on new employees, when there’s absolutely no demonstrated need for such a move,” said Debbie Bozzer, CUPE 2196 spokesperson. “CUPE will not accept a two-tier contract that would sow division in the workplace for years to come – we will continue our strike until this employer comes forward with a fair deal for all.”

There’s no need to impose this evening shift because child protection and mental health workers already schedule evening appointments as required, and we’re still paid straight time,” said Bozzer. “This employer is needlessly dragging on the strike by introducing last minute concessions – it’s shameful for them to put our children at risk by prolonging the strike.”

We don’t know of any other agency that has this evening shift,” said CUPE national representative Fran Ludwick. “We already have someone on call, and children in our communities are already protected around the clock, in case of emergency. At this point, it looks like management is just trying to hang our members out to dry. Well it won’t work.”

CUPE locals from across Canada have supported Local 2196, with strike donations in excess of $80,000. “Along with strike pay from CUPE National, and continued support from sister locals, our members are in a strong position to continue our struggle for fairness,” said Ludwick.

The Board of Directors must be held accountable for this,” said Ludwick. “They are hurting our communities by prolonging this strike – it’s time for them to get involved. It’s obvious the executive director is trying to break this union, but the real casualties are the children in our communities.”

For further information, please contact:
Debbie Bozzer – Local 2196 spokesperson, 705-268-6039;
Judy Mord – Local 2196 spokesperson, 705-267-8377;
Sylvain Charron – (francophone) media spokesperson, 705-266-0368 (c);
Fran Ludwick – CUPE National Representative, 705-264-1269;
Robert Lamoureux – CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999.