PORT PERRY, Ont. — With new funding guaranteed in the provincial budget for the next four years, workers at Community Living Durham North (CLDN) say their employer should be acting quickly to negotiate a fair collective agreement instead of fighting them at the bargaining table.
“We lobbied hard to get more resources for developmental services to address the huge and well-documented wage gap among agencies,” said Jill Coffey, bargaining unit chair for CUPE 2936-07/11, representing about 200 full- and part-time CLDN workers. “We are one of the three lowest-paid agencies in Ontario. Our employer should settle with us fairly so we can continue to work together, lobbying the provincial government to further strengthen and secure supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities.”
The union has requested a no-board report from the provincially-appointed conciliator, beginning the countdown to a legal strike or lockout on or about June 23.
Wages are an issue for CUPE 2936 members. Many full-timers have at least two jobs, while part-timers are carrying two or three jobs at a time, Coffey said. Yet, to date the employer has tabled a wage offer that falls well short of the pattern being established by other community living agencies. CUPE has 46 bargaining units at the table this year.
Health and safety, including violence in the workplace, is another outstanding issue for developmental services workers right across the province.
“Ensuring a safe environment for workers, supported individuals, volunteers and visitors is a joint employer and union responsibility,” Coffey said. “That means policies and procedures must be negotiated as part of our collective agreement if we are to address these issues effectively.”
The union is planning an information meeting for parents and families of supported individuals. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
For more information, contact:
Jill Coffey, CUPE 2936-07/11, 905-441-1232 (cell)
Casey Thomson, CUPE National Representative, 905-433-4760
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142 (cell)