Employees at the Annapolis County Municipal Housing Corporation have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike if issues are not resolved at lead table bargaining. The employees are represented by CUPE 2859.

CUPE National Representative Carl Crouse says the main issue for the employees is achieving a fair wage increase across the sector.

“All local issues were resolved at the bargaining table with the employer in October,” he says. “Wages, which are bargained at the lead table, are still outstanding, along with a number of other proposals.”

The employees voted 98.6 % in favour of strike action. They are the second community services local to hold a positive strike vote.

CUPE 2859 President Christa Sweeney says the employees are stuck between a rock and a hard place. “We can’t afford to go on strike, but we can’t afford to live without a living wage either,” she says. “People can’t feed their families or pay their bills.”

She says the workers haven’t seen a wage increase since March 2021.

“Community services always get the leftovers, after everyone else has sat at the table,” says Sweeney. “No one wants to strike, but we’re tired after years of disrespect.”

The 70 employees work at the Adult Residential Centre and supervised apartments in Bridgetown as well as at Community Supports and a small options home in Yarmouth. They are residential care workers, counsellors, housekeepers, and dietary and maintenance staff.