HALIFAX Queens County home support workers will bring their picket line to the legislature on Thursday to ask for government help in settling the 12-day old strike. The employees, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3885, walked off the job April 20.
They will be joined by home care workers from the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU) and other supporters. The NSGEU represents over 700 home support workers who earn different rates of pay across the province, from $11.13 an hour to over $12. Queens home support workers earn as little as $7.14 per hour and are asking for parity with home support workers in other counties.
CUPE National Rep Kathy MacLeod says there have been no new talks since the strike began.
The employees are very frustrated with the lack of progress and with the fact that licensed practical nurses and registered nurses have been hired to take their place, says MacLeod. These non-union, VON employees are being paid up to $22 per hour. If the work is that valuable, why is the employer offering so little to its own staff?
MacLeod says the employees are also questioning a recent expenditure on new equipment for the Queens County Home Support offices.
They can afford to spend money on brand new computers and other equipment – why cant they find money to pay their employees decent wages? she asks.
The striking home support workers will be introduced in the legislature by New Democrat MLA Darrell Dexter.
CUPE represents approximately 500 home care workers in Cape Breton, Amherst, Queens and Lunenburg counties.
For more information please contact Kathy MacLeod at (902) 578-4612 (cell).