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WINDSOR, Ont. – Windsor-Essex Health Unit workers, represented by Local 543.3 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will be in a legal strike or lockout position on June 20, 2005.

We are fighting concession demands from our employer around scheduling and sick leave provisions,” said Kathi Barrette, CUPE 543.3 chairperson. “We are also seeking modest benefit improvements and fighting to defend our job security.” Some employer proposals on the table would also require workers to spend more time filling out paperwork instead of providing frontline services to the public.

The union is trying to schedule mediation talks in advance of the strike deadline to try and avert a work stoppage. A strike would cause 95 workers to withdraw their services, affecting all public health programs including health inspections, health promotion, beach monitoring, West Nile virus monitoring, dental education and services, tobacco cessation programs and education, family home visits, as well as Health Unit payroll, accounting, clerical, custodial and housekeeping functions.

We will do everything we can to avoid a strike, but we are urging residents to contact local politicians and mayors to tell them to treat public health workers fairly, in order to avoid a strike,” said Barrette. Many local politicians sit on the board of directors of Windsor-Essex Health Unit.


For further information, please contact:
Pierina DeBellis, CUPE National Representative - CUPE Windsor Office - 519-966-9595
Kathi Barrette, CUPE 543.3 Chairperson - 519-944-8833
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999 CUPE Windsor Office 519-944-8833 416-292-3999 519-966-9595