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(Amherst) The strike by 10 womens shelter workers that began on August 11 in Amherst, Nova Scotia is over.

Both sides have ratified a tentative agreement that was reached earlier this week, which will see picket lines come down and the workers returning to their jobs on December 22.

The shelters outreach model which was at the centre of the dispute remains intact, and the contentious issue of 12-hour shifts was also removed by the employer.

CUPE Local President Terry Cove says, We are very pleased to have been able to hang on to our outreach model, which means the integrity of the program and services we provide has been protected.

Ten women stood up for what they believed in, and in the end we were successful. I am very proud of what we achieved, says Cove, herself a lifelong resident of Amherst.

CUPE National Representative Terry Goulding says, This has been a tough and lengthy dispute, but these workers should be commended for fighting to hang on to what they had in their contract. We gave on one concession, the issue of co-payment of benefits, but we will live to fight another day on that issue.

It takes a lot of guts to stand up for what you believe in, and the employees of Autumn House paid an enormous economic price for doing that. They can be proud of the ultimate outcome, however, says Goulding.

The Autumn House employees say they hope this lengthy strike demonstrates to all Nova Scotians that the Hamm governments 75% funding model for womens shelters is woefully inadequate.

They plan to meet with other shelter workers in the very near future to plan a lobbying campaign to have shelters fully funded.

For information:

Terry Cove
President, CUPE 4326
(902) 667-7314 (h)

Terry Goulding
CUPE National Rep.
(902) 752-2244 (o)

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)