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After hanging tough on the picket line for five months, 62 members of CUPE Local 65 at the Fort Frances and District Association for Community Living (ACL) have achieved a settlement with wage increases of 8 percent over two years and a real pension plan, one of their key demands.

With stock markets uncertain, RSPs are not reliable,” says local president Gwen Miller. “A defined pension plan is a basic right that workers in all sectors should enjoy.”

The “multi-sector pension plan” is a new pension plan established by CUPE and SEIU, modelled on an existing union-run pension plan in the nursing home sector. It will provide financial security on retirement for many workers in social services and other sectors.

Local 65 has a message for sisters and brothers in CUPE Local 3440, on strike in Kirkland Lake since September 6: “Your struggle is important not only for yourselves, but for other social service workers across Ontario earning low wages with few benefits. We hope Kirkland Lake ACL management won’t wait five months to do the right thing.”