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Hamilton, Ont. – The Good Shepherd Women’s Services frontline workers are preparing for strike action, as early as July 14, over the issue of substandard wages.  The 50 women’s service workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are paid significantly less than other social service workers in neighbouring municipalities.

Our members help women and children overcome financial and emotional hardship,” said Andrew Hunter, CUPE national representative. “Yet, here they are, forced to fight with their employer to earn a living wage. Good Shepherd should be leading by example and paying their women workers properly and fairly.”

It is unfortunate that our clients will be the first to suffer if we end up on strike for a living wage,” said Paula Masys-Pollock, CUPE Local 5167 unit chair.  The workers provide emergency shelter and residential services at Martha House, Mary’s Place and transitional residency at Somerville House, to women and children who’ve experienced abuse, mental illness and homelessness. Good Shepherd Outreach Services for Women & Children also provide counselling, legal support and housing for women and children. Their last contract expired on March 31, 2008.  Mediation talks are scheduled for July 7 and 11.

We are urging the public and supporters of Good Shepherd to help with our members’ drive to earn a decent and fair wage,” said Hunter.  “After all, the Good Shepherd Centres’ mission statement proclaims to ‘strive to enhance the quality of life for all who seek assistance and support.’ A living wage is essential to live a quality life.”


For further information, please contact:

Andrew Hunter James Chai
CUPE National Rep. 416-292-3999
905-575-5411 CUPE Communications
905-531-7599 cell