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OSHAWA, Ont. Childrens aid workers at the Durham Childrens Aid Society, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), ratified a new collective agreement yesterday evening, Thursday, April 28. The workers voted 87 per cent in favour of the three-year contract, which includes improved benefits and wage increases of three per cent each year.

Unlike previous rounds of negotiations where talks dragged on to the brink of a strike, we noticed an improved level of respect from our employer in bargaining this time, said Mary Anne Lesniewski, president of CUPE 3223. We are hoping that this new attitude is here to stay and that management will continue to recognize the good work our members provide for children and families in our communities.

The 310 family service workers, placement workers, children services workers, administrative assistants, and family resource workers provide child protection and other social services to children and families in Durham region. Their last contract expired on March 31, 2005. In the new agreement, the workers won improvements to maternity leave provisions and better hours of work for recently hired employees.

We are happy we were able to achieve improvements without a strike or the threat of a lockout, said Lesniewski. Improved hours of work and working conditions will help us provide the best possible service.


For further information, please contact:

Linda Newman, CUPE National Rep. - 905-433-4760

Mary Anne Lesniewski, President CUPE 3223 - 905-718-1553

James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999