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Ontario Works delivers social assistance to almost a thousand clients annually in the Region of Peel. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 966 members provide services to those who are most vulnerable in the community and being able to help them in a safe and healthy environment is a priority. Those they support are part of the community they live in and clients rely on CUPE Local 966 every day. 

Many of the most vulnerable people in our community depend on our supports to assist with basic needs such as food and shelter. Healthy workers are key to ensuring consistent delivery of quality supports for individuals and their families. The issue here is about keeping people healthy. The employer’s proposals would diminish our members’ ability to get back on their feet when they get sick and undermine our ability to make a difference in people’s lives. Ensuring that our members have the supports necessary to stay healthy and provide quality people-oriented services is a key priority for us,” said Mary Jo Falle, president of CUPE 966. 

Our members are predominantly women and many of them are racialized members of our community,” said Michel Revelin, vice-president of the local. “We believe our members are being treated in the systemic manner our society treats women and those who are racialized. Despite movements forward, these members of society are still, in general, under-employed and under-paid.” 

There is a clear two-level system at play here. Non-union members of the Region received a 2 per cent raise and a performance bonus of between three per cent and 7.5 per cent giving them between five per cent and 9.5 per cent in 2012. Where is the justice and fairness in that?” asked Falle. “Our members deserve the same equality as the non-union employees and the Region of Peel bureaucrats.” 

Management told us there was nothing left to say, that bargaining was over. We were prepared, and still are, to keep talking,” said Revelin. “We challenge the employer to come back to the table and negotiate a fair and equitable agreement.” 

For further information, please contact: 

Mary Jo Falle
President, CUPE Local 966                          
(289) 233-3714

Michel Revelin
Vice-President, CUPE Local 966              
(416) 822-3779

Helen Manning
CUPE National Representative                
(416) 220-9794

Wendy Forbes
CUPE Communications                              
(416) 892-8716