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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE – After being without a contract for a year, the professional staff of the Child and Family Services of Central Manitoba could be on strike by March 16th.

Bargaining between the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 2483, and the employer has taken place over the last year with no resolution in sight, according to Lee McLeod, President of the Local.

Last week the members of the union gave notice that they would strike on March 16th if no progress is made in bargaining.

There are major issues to deal with and the employer hasn’t made a genuine effort to negotiate and has refused arbitration. They haven’t done what they said they would do, they’ve delayed meetings and now they say they can’t meet with us until April,” said McLeod.

To us, their approach to bargaining is just disrespectful. We work hard for the agency, we’re often in high risk situations, we put in a lot of extra effort to support the families and children in our care, and we don’t think the Board appreciates what we do.”

The main issues left unresolved when negotiations last took place involved wage increases and the pension plan for the 24 workers at CFS (Central).

The workers provide a range of supports that assist families in crisis. If they are on strike, arrangements will be made to provide alternative supports temporarily.


The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members working in health care facilities, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services. CUPE represents frontline workers in a number of social service agencies that deal with family crises.

For information, contact: Lee McLeod, President of Local 2483 at (204) 823-0302; Dennis Lewycky, CUPE Communications at (204) 333-5065