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CUPE to target Mayor, Councilor in effort to settle contract.

THORHILD A small group of nursing home attendants have decided they may walk a picket line to get a collective agreement. The group, 18 CUPE members employed at Newthorad Seniors Lodge in Thorhild, have been trying for over 12 months to get a first collective agreement with their employer. Yesterday, they voted 75% for job action.

Patti Stevenot, an employee of Newthorad, said the key issues were seniority and job posting rights. Stevenot said employees are asking that if layoffs occur, they are done in reverse order of seniority.

This is about respecting employees who have put in a lot of time for the residents, said Stevenot. Someone with 10 or 15 years of service shouldnt be laid off first.

Stevenot said that the employees also want first chance on any job postings they are qualified for. Its basic respect to give existing employees first consideration if they are qualified, but Newthorad doesnt recognize this basic principal.”

CUPE Alberta President Bruce McLeod said the union would be launching an ad campaign aimed at Newthorad Board members Vivian Prodaniuk and Kevin Grumetza. Prodaniuk is the Mayor of Thorhild and Grumetza is a County Councilor.

Prodaniuk and Grumetza are up for re-election in October, said McLeod. We are asking Lodge residents and other voters to call up these two and demand to know why they are treating their staff so badly.

McLeod said residents of the lodge support the employees. Several residents of the lodge have offered to support the staff. “Our advertising will feature those residents telling the public about the valuable and important work our members do.