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MISSISSAUGA, ON – Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 966, Public Works unit have left the bargaining table – the strike began at 7 a.m., Monday, June 4.

The Region has chosen to engage in concessionary bargaining with Public Works just as they have with Ontario Works/Human Services Unit by asking workers to pay for any wage increase themselves by using concessions to their benefits.

We were clear with the Region that Public Works would not settle for anything less than what was awarded to other employees of Peel. They need to get the concessions off the table and offer us what other employees have received,” said Michel Revelin, vice president of CUPE Local 966. “The Chair of the Region, Emil Kolb, has accepted awards for his work in Public Works in Ontario but then seems to forget it is frontline workers that do the work that allows him to collect these accolades.”

Public Works maintains the Region’s water and waste water systems, maintains roads and transportation and construction projects and the Region’s Community Recycling Centres.

Local 966’s Ontario Works/Human Services which has been on strike for over four weeks waited for hours on Saturday for the Region of Peel to make a renewed offer to end the strike. What the Region of Peel finally did offer had the same benefits and monetary concessions that were rejected by the members of the Unit May 16, 2012. They made an insignificant improvement to the Short Term Disability concessions and offered a 4th year to the term of the contract.

Our members cannot understand why their work is apparently not valued as much as other workers in Peel, including management, who received decent wages this year and were not asked to accept concessions in return. I almost wonder if it’s because the Region does not think that providing services to the homeless and impoverished residents of Canada’s most affluent Region is of any value.” said Mary Jo Falle, president of CUPE Local 966.

It was a difficult decision for our bargaining team to make. Our Ontario Works Human Services Members are predominantly women.” said Falle. “While the Region says it is business as usual at Ontario Works Offices, our clients tell us a different story, one of long waits and a lack of information being given to clients.”

Transhelp, also a bargaining unit of Local 966 is in a legal strike position Saturday, June 9th. These workers also face deep concessions at their bargaining table with the Region who seeks to turn well paid full-time work into lesser paid part-time work.

Transhelp provides accessible and safe transportation door-to-door to residents with mobility issues and provide a type and level of service that is not generally offered elsewhere.

For further information, please contact:

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