North Bay, ON – More than 100 Children’s Aid Society workers, members of CUPE 2049, turned out this afternoon and voted today to accept a new contract reached after an all-night bargaining session that ran until 9:00am this morning, well past the midnight November 10 strike/lockout deadline.
“It was the toughest bargaining this local has ever seen.. The provincial government’s refusal to properly fund the Child Welfare Sector has created huge upheaval for children and families — it is shameful,” said CUPE Local 2049 President Christine Allard.
“Now that our bargaining is settled we can focus on children and working with management to pressure the provincial government to support children’s protection services,” Allard said.
The contract approved by union members today must still be ratified by the employer.
Local union President and union negotiator Christine Allard said she was pleased because the new contract allows workers to do “more people-work and less paper-work.” Allard also said “kids are the priority and key to this settlement were improvements to make sure workloads are manageable and allow us to provide a higher quality of service to at-risk children.”
The CUPE Local spokesperson reported changes to contract language that protect worker’s health and safety through better training.
The agreement provides modest wage increases of 2% in the first year, 2% in the second year and 2.5% in the final year of a three year contract expiring March 31, 2012.
Contract bargaining between CUPE and the Nipissing and Parry Sound Children’s Aid Society began in May and was assisted by a Ministry of Labour appointed Conciliation Officer.
CUPE Local 2049 represents 125 front line workers, closed custody facility workers and support staff at Nipissing and Parry Sound Children’s Aid Society with offices in North Bay, Parry Sound and Burks Falls.
For information contact:
Christine Allard, President, CUPE 2049 705-358-5887 (cell)
Chris Watson, CUPE Communications 416-553-9410