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(Halifax) The union representing 800 employees who work in Adult Residential Centres (ARCs), Residential Care Facilities (RCFs) and Group Homes throughout the province will resume contract talks with the Department of Community Services next Tuesday (July 29).

The CUPE workers are in 11 facilities across the province, and have been without a contract for almost 20 months. Talks resume at 9:00 am, July 29 at the Glengarry Hotel in Truro.

CUPE Long Term Care Co-ordinator Kelly Murray says, The announcement of a provincial election for August 5th appears to have prompted the Department of Community Services to sit down with CUPE and negotiate on issues we put on the table almost two years ago.

The common proposals include pension, retirement allowance, WCB coverage, wages and severance pay.

Says Murray, Nursing home employers funded by the Department of Health have just concluded an agreement with CUPEs 3,000 nursing home workers. CUPE members who work for employers funded by Community Services and who possess similar qualifications, understandably, want their settlement to mirror the one reached with the Department of Health.

Murray says hes hopeful the talks will go well. All the employees want is fairness. They do a good job for our communities. They deserve the same rates of pay as their counterparts and should be able to look forward to a safe and secure retirement.

(ATTENTION ASSIGNMENT/PHOTO EDITORS:) Employees affected will show their frustration with how long it has taken to get a new contract, by setting up information pickets the morning the negotiations begin. The pickets will be in front of employers facilities or head offices and will commence at 7:00 A.M. on the 29th.

For information:Kelly Murray, CUPE Chief Negotiator
455-4180 (o)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative
455-4180 (o), 222-8457 (Cell)