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NEW GLASGOW After several months of on-again-off-again negotiations, workers of the Childrens Aid Society of Pictou County are optimistic about the upcoming round of negotiations with a conciliator present.

Several issues remain outstanding, most of which involve bringing benefits and allowances up to par with other Childrens Aid Society (CAS) workers in the province.

Scott MacKenzie, a youth counsellor and president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3928 thinks having a conciliator in the room will go a long way in resolving the differences between both sides.

“Were talking about a dedicated group of employees who work day and night to ensure the children and their families get the care and attention they need,” said MacKenzie. “This is draining work, both physically and emotionally. These workers put in the extra hours and often arent compensated because their workload prevents them from taking time off in lieu of overtime. Most of our demands such as carrying over vacation time and improving standby allowances would go a long way towards relieving stress and fatigue in the workplace.”

“What the employees are asking for are items that they are entitled to,” said Terry Goulding, CUPE National Representative. “It is difficult to understand why this Employer is unable to resolve these matters of which other unionized workers take for granted.”

CAS workers say that they are rightfully entitled to an increase in their standby allowance, access to a severance package thats equal to other government workers in the province, and the right to carry over additional vacation time into the next year.

Negotiations with a conciliator present are scheduled for April 25-26 in New Glasgow. If talks break off without an agreement in sight, then the Union representing 39 CAS workers will hold a strike vote, and prepare to strike.

For further information, please contact:
Terry Goulding, 752-2244
Scott MacKenzie, 752-4642

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