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SAULT STE. MARIE – Members of Local 1880 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have voted 74% in favour of strike action, rejecting the latest offer put forward by Community Living Algoma management.

“We want a fair collective agreement with wages that keep up with inflation, and basic job security,” says CUPE Local 1880 bargaining committee representative Matthew Cavaliere. “Our members have solidly rejected the employer’s so called final offer, and we’re ready to walk if a deal cannot be reached in conciliation.”

The employer’s final offer eliminated job security provisions and offered minimal wage increases, well below the rate of inflation. The union has asked the ministry of labour to set dates for conciliation talks in a final bid to avoid a strike.

“This employer wrote to our members telling them the final offer was reasonable – they even urged CUPE members to come and vote, expecting them to accept what is really a slap in the face,” says CUPE National Representative Trish Andrews. “That move backfired and we had a tremendous turnout for the strike vote where members sent a resounding no to management, putting them on notice a strike is where they’re headed. It’s time for management to get back to the bargaining table and put forward a fair deal.”

“Consistency and continuity of care are very important for the vulnerable people we work with,” says Cavaliere. “But low wages cause high staff turnover that destabilizes the whole system.”

“Our members care deeply about the clients we serve, and the last thing we want is a strike,” says Cavaliere. “We have families to take care of, and bills to pay too, and we can’t keep losing ground to inflation.”

CUPE represents over 350 workers at Community Living Algoma, including support workers, cooks, cleaners, social workers, supportive living, supportive housing, life skills and counsellors. These dedicated professionals offer care and support services to clients with exceptional needs through day programs and in residential settings.


For further information, please contact:
Trish Andrews, CUPE National Representative
Matthew Cavaliere, Local 1880 Bargaining Cttee
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications