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SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. - The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), local 1880, Children’s Aid Society of Algoma workers have asked for the assistance of a conciliator in their dealings with the CAS of Algoma.

“Of all 13 days of negotiating only three days were productive,” says Rick Alexander, CUPE National Representative.

“We sincerely believe that the employer had no intention of bargaining a fair collective agreement with us,” says CUPE 1880 VP Lee-Ann Pettenuzzo.  They have so called joked that our entry passes may not work, and have shown complete disrespect and disregard for our members throughout this process.

“However, today was the last straw! They arrived with no paper, no proposals and no intention of having a productive meeting.  They told us yesterday’s offer had not changed - completely ignoring the most pressing issues for us - workload and health and safety.

“We had no option but to tell them we were asking for a conciliator to get talks moving - their response? They yahooed, cheered, gave each other high-five’s and left laughing, proclaiming ‘thank God it’s over’.. We can only assume they had achieved their goal - that the talks break down.”

“This unprofessional and insulting behaviour is juvenile and unacceptable,”
Pettenuzzo concluded.

Local 1880 received a 90 per cent strike vote last week. The main issues on the table that the employer insists on ignoring are workload, violence in the workplace and other health and safety issues.

“We are dedicated to the safety of the children and the wellbeing of the families we work with,” Pettenuzzo said. “But, if we are to continue to protect the children and help their families, we must have reasonable workloads and we must ensure that the children and our members are safe”.

For further information, contact:

Lee-Ann Pettenuzzo,                       or           Rick Alexander,
VP CUPE 1880                                            CUPE National Representative
705 257-7172                                              705 943-5515