MANITOULIN Local 2624 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 29 workers at the Manitoulin Association for Community Living, has proposed sending their contract dispute to arbitration under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA) provisions of the Ontario Ministry of Labour, to avoid a strike. The employer has refused to agree to define the ACL as a hospital for the purposes of arbitration under HLDAA, as suggested by CUPE through a provincial conciliator.
The Union tried unsuccessfully to reach a negotiated settlement with the ACL, and was facing a strike deadline of May 8, 2000.
“By sending outstanding issues to arbitration, we can avoid a strike and preserve the services we offer to our clients,” says Anna Sweet, CUPE National Representative.
“The members are aware that there are no guarantees through the arbitration process, but the needs of the clients are paramount to these workers,” added Sweet.
HLDAA is the legislation used by Ontario hospital workers to settle labour disputes with their employer, as hospital workers do not have the right to strike.