PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE – The professional and support staff of the Child and Family Services (Central Manitoba) are going to the public for support tomorrow.
Most of the 24 workers will be in front of the CFS offices tomorrow, holding an Information Picket. They will talk to the public and hand out information from 12 noon until 1 pm.
Bargaining between the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 2483, and the employer (CFSCM) has ground to a virtual stand still, according to Lee McLeod, President of the Local. “We met again yesterday and got nowhere. The Board doesn’t see the seriousness in our situation,” said McLeod.
CFSCM Board Chair Evelyn Currie said on the radio news last week that the Board remains optimistic about settling the dispute.
“Their approach to bargaining is astounding to us. They are not making a genuine effort to find a resolution, and then they make comments in the media that make it look like they are doing what they can,” said McLeod. “We want the public to know what is going on and to help if they can. That is why we will be picketing the CFS offices, challenging the Board to get serious about bargaining.”
Last week the members of the Union gave notice that they would strike on March 16th if no progress is made in bargaining.
The workers provide front line child protection and support services and emergency services to roughly 10 percent of the population of Manitoba. If they are on strike, the workers have made arrangements to provide only emergency services and they are concerned about increased risks for children and families in Central Region if a work stoppage is allowed to occur.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members working in health care facilities, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services. CUPE represents frontline workers in a number of social service agencies that deal with family crises.
For information, contact: Lee McLeod, President of the Local 2483 at (204) 823-0302.