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Right across Ontario, CUPE members who work for associations for community living (ACLs) are wearing green ribbons today to show their support for Community Living West Nipissing workers faced with a lockout or strike deadline this weekend.

We are all in this together,” said Jim Beattie, chair of the CUPE Ontario ACL bargaining committee. “We have been working for many years to strengthen the services and supports provided to persons with a developmental disability by improving the working conditions of the people who deliver those supports.”

Fifty CUPE ACL bargaining units enter negotiations this year to renew their collective agreements. Settlements have already been reached with associations in Espanola, Superior-Greenstone, Muskoka and South Huron.

All of our employers receive similar funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services – at levels that were achieved by workers, employers and families working together to lobby the provincial government for increased support,” Beattie said. “It is hard to understand why some employers, like Community Living West Nipissing, are pushing their staff toward a lockout or strike.”

CUPE represents about 8,000 developmental service workers in the province.