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WINDSOR, Ont. – Members of Local 543.3 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Windsor-Essex Health Unit workers, gave a clear strike mandate to their bargaining committee. A vote was held and more than 96 per cent gave their full support to the bargaining committee, in a final effort to get a fair deal at the bargaining table.

Kathi Barrette, Chairperson of local 543.3, was very pleased with this result. “The support we have received from our members is crucial,” she explained. “This means the bargaining committee now has the ability to show the employer how disappointed our members are about the way things have been addressed so far at the table, especially hours of work, job posting and wages.” 

On the other hand, an eventual strike is not a priority yet. “Our first intention is to get a fair deal, not to go on strike,” said Barrette. “We want to keep helping the people in our community, but in order for us to continue our work in a proper environment and with fair conditions; we need to get issues resolved at the bargaining table. We still have hope that the help from a third party conciliator will help us get a fair deal, but things have been moving very slowly since the discussions started in April.”

CUPE Local 543.3 represents more than 85 workers with the Windsor-Essex Health Unit, ranging from health inspectors, dental assistants, dental educators, dental hygienists, health promotion, tobacco specialists, nutritionists, dieticians, clerks and more.

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For information:

Kathi Barrette, Chairperson, CUPE Local 543.3, 519-258-2146 Ext. 1273
Jean Fox, President, CUPE Local 543, 519-254-3543
Luc Tittley, CUPE Communications, 416-910-2389