Sarnia, Ont. – Community Living Sarnia Lambton workers are seeking a fair deal that will see front line workers continue to provide direct care to people with intellectual disabilities. The 180 social service workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), recently voted 99 per cent to take strike action if a fair deal is not reached with the agency.
“All we want is a fair deal that will let our members do their job,” said Brian Biggers, president of CUPE 4370. “Unfortunately the agency is pushing to double the hours they take away from front line workers and give them to supervisors. How does taking time away from workers who provide direct care to people with intellectual challenges help with the continuity and consistency of care that ACL agencies strive for?”
In addition to fighting for more hands-on time with the people they work with, the workers are trying to resolve contract language issues around seniority and qualifications. The workers provide direct care to individuals with intellectual challenges in 14 homes offering residential, respite and day support services to over 240 clients in the Sarnia area.
“In our line of work continuity and consistency in care is paramount,” continued Biggers. “What the agency is pushing for contradicts the very nature of our work. It is unfair to workers and the individuals they support.”
The workers’ last contract expired on March 31, 2009. Conciliation talks are scheduled for Monday, August 24. “We’re hoping that the agency will take the upcoming conciliation talks seriously and come prepared to work out a deal that’s fair for the workers and benefits the very people we help every day,” said Biggers.
For further information, please contact:
Brian Biggers, CUPE 4370 President, 519-333-7109
Suanne Hawkins, CUPE National Representative, 519-433-1753
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999