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(New Glasgow) Employees of a womens shelter in New Glasgow have rejected a final offer from their employer and voted 100% in favour of strike.

Workers at Tearmann House (Tearmann Society for Abused Women), members of CUPE Local 4459, were certified as a union in September, 2001 and still dont have a first contract.

CUPE National Representative Terry Goulding says, Outstanding issues are all directly related to the employer hiring an outside lawyer who has been, in essence, bullying these eight women into agreeing to substandard, regressive contract language.

These workers are being asked to accept contract language that just doesn’t exist in other public sector collective agreements in Nova Scotia, says Goulding.

Examples include:

  • An employer dictated clause that says the employees will invest 25% of their retroactive pay into an RRSP

  • Another dictated clause that says if the employer is not satisfied with a sick leave certification from the employee’s family doctor, they will have the authority to demand that the employee see a doctor of the employer’s choice, thereby ignoring privacy issues

  • No provision of definitive hours of work for employees

  • Language on notice of lay-off that is less than what is required by the Labour Standards Act

Says Goulding, This does not bode well for a negotiated settlement with this employer.

For information:
Terry Goulding, CUPE National Rep.
(902) 752-2244 (o)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)