On a sunny afternoon in Oshawa, hundreds of long-term care workers employed by the Durham Region rallied for ‘Respect and Fairness’, urging their employer to negotiate a fair contract, in line with the regions’ offer to other municipal workers.
CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan demanded to know why Durham Region is treating a predominantly female workforce, who provide care to seniors in municipal homes, differently than other municipal workers employed by Durham Region.
“The Chair of Durham Region, Roger Anderson, must explain why he’s allowing this group of mostly women workers to be treated as second class citizens,” said Ryan. “They all work for the region and they should be treated equally.”
Fred Hahn, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario, echoed Ryan’s comments. “Front-line workers in the long term care sector must be treated respectfully,” said Hahn. “The employer must come back to the table with a fair offer so workers can continue to provide care to residents of the homes.”
“We care for the residents 24 hours a day,” said Jan Tutton, president of CUPE 132. “All we want is for this employer to show respect for our work and offer us a similar deal to the one other municipal workers received.”
The over 1,000 municipal homes workers have been without a contract for almost a year. Durham Region’s management and council are demanding the workers accept an inferior deal that will create a two-tier system in Durham Region.