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Peel A strike by 200 workers at the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) of Peel is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29 after mediation talks failed on Friday. Members of Local 2842 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing community care access case managers (most are degreed nurses), and administrative staff at the Peel CCAC, voted earlier this month to strike if a fair settlement could not be reached. CUPE 2842 members provide access to nursing and other professional health care services, and home support services and long term care placement services to residents of Brampton, Malton, Bolton, Caledon and Mississauga, and the entire Peel Region.

The last thing our members want is to go on strike, says Trudy Mulder-Hall, bargaining committee spokesperson. But weve been meeting with this employer since July 2000, and theyve continued to attack our hours of work and benefits.

Management wants to take complete control of our hours of work, making it impossible to juggle stressful jobs and still make room for quality family time, adds Mulder-Hall. The CCAC has been promoting itself as a model of quality service, but the truth is they want to strip benefits and hurt the quality of life of their dedicated employees. The employers proposals would give management the right to dictate any schedule, including 12-hour shifts, weekends and evenings, with changes to the next days shift without proper notice.

We offered to set up a committee to address the hours of work issue – they said no. Our members offered to volunteer for flexible hours under mutual agreement – they said that wasnt good enough. Our current arrangement of part-time workers offering extended hours has been working – but they want total control, says Mulder-Hall.

Now 10,000 clients who rely on our services will suffer because this employer wanted to strip away our rights as workers, regardless of the outcome, says Mulder-Hall. CCACs already face a challenge recruiting nurses. By making our working conditions worse, by making it impossible for household leaders, mothers and caregivers to know what hours of work they will be working, the Peel CCAC will make recruitment and staff retention even more difficult.

Picket lines will go up Tuesday morning at CCAC Peel Head Office, 199 County Court, Brampton and William Osler Health Centre, Brampton Campus (Lynch St.), Credit Valley Health Centre (Eglinton and Erin Mills), and Trillium Health Centre, Mississauga (Hwy 10 and Queensway)

MEMBERS TO MEET TONIGHT

CUPE 2842 will hold an information meeting for members this evening at the Holiday Inn on City Centre Drive, near the Bramalea City Centre in Brampton. Although the meeting is closed to the media, union representatives will be available for comment after the meeting, expected to conclude at 9:30 or

10:00 p.m. this evening.

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For further information, please contact:
Trudy Mulder-Hall, Bargaining Committee
(905) 452-2842 (cell)
Paul Jordison, CUPE National Rep.
(905) 568-4664
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999

opeiu 491/sem