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Toronto Community workers at one of Torontos oldest social service agencies have ratified a new collective agreement, ending a difficult 34-day strike. The 150 Central Neighbourhood House workers, who are members of Local 4308 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), say they are eager to return to work helping the homeless and vulnerable in the inner-city.

Services affected during the strike included home care support, shelter and youth services and child care. Key issues in the labour dispute were wages and benefits.

Under the new collective agreement, the workers will receive a 2 per cent wage increase, in each year of the three-year deal. And for the first time in the agencys 90-year history the majority of home support workers will receive benefits such as medical and dental coverage. The new agreement also ensures that any staff transfers at the child care centre are made only after management consults with parents and workers and considers the impact on the children.

It has been a difficult time for many of our members who throughout the strike have been concerned about the well-being of the seniors, the homeless and children we care for. Many of us live and work in the St. Jamestown, Cabbagetown area so the well-being of those in the community who need our help is very important to us, said CUPE 4308 president Kelly OSullivan.

Throughout the labour dispute the workers highlighted the low-wages paid to community-based social service agency staff and the damage to our social safety net due to unstable and inadequate provincial funding to the sector.

OSullivan said its time for the Central Neighbourhood House management and executive board to join community workers and other local social service agencies to develop a community-based coalition focused on pushing the provincial government to increase funding for the sector.


For more information please contact:
Kelly OSullivan President CUPE Local 4308 (416) 529-9015
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774