TIMMINS, Ont. – For the third time in a row, Timmins municipal councillors have refused to hear a deputation from striking Child and Family Services workers about the current crisis in children’s services.
“Council not only refused yet again to hear about this crisis that affects children and families in our communities – they have now passed a bylaw that outlaws deputations by any union that is on strike,” said Judy Mord, CUPE 2196 spokesperson. “They wouldn’t even allow correspondence to the mayor to be read into the record – we will be calling on our labour affiliates, both locally and provincially, to join us in our struggle for democracy at Timmins Council.” The mayor and some councillors attempted to get the issues on the agenda, but they were out-voted by a majority of councillors.
CUPE 2196 is still trying to resume negotiations with Child and Family Services of Timmins and District management to end the strike that began April 19.
“We are trying to focus our attention on the Board of Directors,” said Fran Ludwick, CUPE national representative. “They have taken such a hands off approach on this strike that they are not living up to their responsibility as Board members.” The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring the delivery of quality child and family services under the agency’s mandate. To date, the Board has refused to get involved in the labour dispute and has not made any moves to resume negotiations since the last talks on May 20.
“Our struggle is not about money,” added Mord. “What we are looking for is an enforceable mechanism to control workloads so that we can offer better services to our communities. I don’t know what’s more shocking: the fact that our Board of Directors is letting the strike drag on by refusing to return to the bargaining table, or the fact that our municipal politicians don’t even want to hear about this crisis that is hurting children and families in Timmins and District.”
CUPE is preparing an advertising campaign that will target the Board of Directors, urging residents to contact Board members and demand they live up to their responsibility and do what it takes to end the two-month strike.
For further information, please contact:
Debbie Bozzer, CUPE 2196 spokesperson, 705-268-6039;
Judy Mord, CUPE 2196 spokesperson, 705-267-8377 or 705-266-3436 (cell);
Sylvain Charron, CUPE 2196 francophone spokesperson, 705-264-8155 or 705-266-0368;
Fran Ludwick, CUPE national representative, 705-264-1269 or 705-363-8387 (cell);
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999.