The union representing frontline workers at Iris Kirby House and O’Shaughnessy House continues to support the review process to resolve outstanding issues related to management of the shelter. However, staff are concerned by the potential effects that delays and the outcome may have for the safety and well-being of the women and children who require shelter and services.

“We are frustrated by the uncertainty that this situation has created and the impact this has on the environment we work in. It is quite concerning that we still don’t know the outcome. The current situation has become very stressful for both workers and the women receiving these services,” says Debbie Turner, president of CUPE Local 3762.

“The process is taking longer than originally anticipated. The safety and future of these women’s lives are made more uncertain because there are still outstanding issues to be resolved,” says Ed White, CUPE national representative.

“The government says there are contingency plans, but we are uncertain of what those plans are,” says White. “If contingency plans include moving the women and children to new locations, it could mean support services will be more difficult to deliver.”

“While our members are not involved in the agency’s financial matters, they continue to offer their support to the management review process by government,” says White. “They are committed to ensuring frontline services continue uninterrupted throughout the process and remain available to women and children experiencing domestic violence.”

“We remain hopeful that solutions will be found that benefit all parties, especially the families in need.”

CUPE Local 3762 represents approximately 30 employees at Iris Kirby House in St. John’s and O’Shaughnessy House in Carbonear who are Crisis Intervention workers. Each year, Iris Kirby House provides shelter, advocacy and support services to hundreds of women and children who are experiencing domestic violence.