Woodstock, Ont. – Oxford County Public Health workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), could be on strike early next month over the employer’s demands to cut off benefits for workers over the age of 65.
“All workers should be treated equally and with respect,” said Heather Grassick, national representative for CUPE 1146. “It is unacceptable to discriminate against workers, who want to continue working and promoting public health, by suddenly cutting off their health benefits, just because they turn 65.”
Union representatives requested a ‘no-board’ report from the provincial mediator last night, after conciliation talks broke off, triggering a countdown to a lockout or legal strike deadline of 12:01 am, March 6. The workers voted 100 per cent in favour of a strike if a fair settlement cannot be reached with their employer.
CUPE 1146 members provide health inspection, health promotion, and administrative services in Oxford County. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2006. In addition to age discrimination targeting workers over 65, wage parity for some of the 31 public health workers, remains an outstanding issue.
“Management must come back to mediation without their age discrimination agenda,” said Grassick. “Otherwise we will have no choice but to take strike action to stop the County from discriminating against their own workers.”
For further information, please contact:
Heather Grassick James Chai
CUPE National Representative CUPE Communications