North Bay, ON – More than 125 case workers for at-risk-children attending meetings last night in North Bay and Parry Sound were visibly upset when told their employer, the Nipissing and Parry Sound Children’s Aid Society, is trying to provoke a strike.
“When your whole working life is about supporting at-risk children and families in your community, this was shocking news,” CUPE National Representative Fran Ludwick said. “First the employer laid down a take-it-or-leave-it package of huge concessions and rollbacks that no other Children’s Aid Society anywhere in Ontario has even suggested. Then they told the workers they’re proceeding to have the Ministry of Labour set a date for a strike or lockout.”
“Even more shocking than pushing for an early strike/lockout date is that Nipissing Children’s Aid management has cancelled early intervention programs in the community including the Infant Development clinics, Play Your Part Parenting programs, Family Enrichment Support groups and tutoring programs,” Ludwick said.
“How will our clients, foster parents and children feel when they hear about this,” Ludwick asked.” Is this all happening because instead of challenging the provinces refusal to provide year end funding, the Children’s Aid Society is trying to balance its budget by forcing workers on strike, because it sure looks that way.”
CUPE’s National Representative estimates that as a result of the employer action, a Ministry determined strike/lockout date could be as early as Remembrance Day, November 11.
CUPE Local 2049 represents 125 front line workers, closed-custody facility workers and support staff at Nipissing and Parry Sound Children’s Aid Society with offices in North Bay, Parry Sound and Burks Falls.
Contract talks between CUPE 2049 and the Children’s Aid began in April 2009.
For information contact:
Fran Ludwick CUPE National Representative 705-358-0663
Chris Watson CUPE Communications 416-553-9410