Through collective action, media and political pressure, and the use of digital campaign tools, CUPE members have successfully saved a Preeceville group home from closure and prevented the loss of at least eight jobs in the community.

“Just a few days ago, our group home was facing closure and the CUPE members who worked there were preparing to be laid off,” said Angie Pawliw, President of CUPE 3364.  “Thanks to the support of our community and the solidarity of CUPE members from across the province, we’ve been notified by the employer of the great news that the home will remain open.”

Group Home Number Three in Preeceville is home to residents with disabilities who are supported by staff who provide 24-hour care.  Mackenzie Society Ventures, the company who operates the home, had recently announced plans to close the home permanently at the end of March without explanation, despite the fact that the home is fully funded by the provincial government.

“The announcement caught us by surprise,” added Pawliw.  “We knew immediately that we had to take action to save this home from closure, not only to save the jobs of the CUPE members who work there, but for the residents who would have been uprooted and moved out of their community.

Pawliw and the local worked quickly to organize a rally in the community, which saw 50 people and members of the media gather in front of the Mackenzie Society Ventures office and day program facility in Preeceville.  Speaking at the rally, Pawliw asked community members for their support in preventing the closure of the home by using the online letter writing tool on the local’s website that would send letters to the Minister of Social Services, the local MLA, town council, and members of the Mackenzie Society Board.

“The support from the community and from CUPE members was incredible,” said Pawliw.  “In just a couple of days, 595 letters were sent through our website.  The letters and media coverage got the attention of the Minister, our MLA and the board, and we were soon notified that the home would stay open.”

This is a great example of building worker power,” said Matt Thompson, CUPE national representative.  “It was the hard work of the local membership that brought the community together to keep this group home open.  This victory shows what can be achieved when workers take collective action to build support and solidarity.”