TORONTO - In strike votes held yesterday and today, workers at Central Neighbourhood House, a downtown multi-service community agency, declared their willingness to strike on Wednesday, October 17 unless they can reach a fair contract with their employer.
“We do not want see any of the programs we provide interrupted unnecessarily,” said Kelly O’Sullivan, president of CUPE 4308, which represents about 100 workers at the agency. “However, we need our employer to see that we are serious about getting a collective agreement that provides a fair wage increase and improved working conditions.”
The workers have been in a legal strike position since mid-July, after management requested a “no board” report from the provincially-appointed conciliator and set the stage for a lockout or strike. “Despite setting that deadline, the employer walked away from the last conciliation meeting and would not meet the union face-to-face,” said O’Sullivan.
“We have been trying to bargain with this employer for 18 months,” she said. “They have to move away from their expectation that these workers, who have been falling behind year after year, will accept an increase of less than one-half a per cent a year when the cost of living is expected to increase by two per cent or more.”
The workers at Central Neighbourhood House provide child care, after-school care, stroke recovery and home support among other programs. They endured a difficult 34-day strike in 2003 in order to achieve their last collective agreement.
For more information, contact
Kelly O’Sullivan, President, CUPE 4308, 416-529-9600
Garth Smith, CUPE National Representative, 416-292-3999
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142