BELLEVILLE, Ont. – Children’s Mental Health Service providers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), could be on strike in the New Year, if a contract settlement is not reached between management and the workers.
“Management ended talks by calling for a no-board report, starting the countdown to a strike or lockout,” said Carmen Woelber, unit chair of CUPE 3314.3. “Now we are pushed into a strike situation that could stop us from providing essential services to children with very pressing needs.”
The workers will be in a legal strike position on January 13th, at 12:01 am, with final mediation talks scheduled for January 12th. They’ve been working without a contract since March 31, 2005 and recently voted 75 per cent in favour of a strike if a fair deal cannot be reached.
“Our members provide critical mental health services to children who depend on us,” said Woelber. “We love what we do but management is trying to take away our job security and we have to take a stand to protect our jobs and the services we deliver.”
Seniority rights and professional recognition are the main outstanding issues for the over 58 mental health service workers, who provide counselling and support for both children and their families. The workers deliver a residential program in Belleville to eight children on a 24-hour basis, helping to integrate the children back into their families. They also serve approximately 200 children, on a daily basis, in Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
For further information, please contact:
Unit Chair CUPE 3314.3
CUPE National Rep