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HAMILTON, ON. Womens shelter workers with the Good Shepherd Centres, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), voted last night to ratify their first collective agreement. The deal includes a significant wage increase, improved benefits and better hours of work.

This first contract is a step in the right direction, said Vickie Houston, vice-president of CUPE 5167. It was not an easy negotiation process with Good Shepherd, but the workers were determined to achieve fare wages and improved working conditions.

The 40 women provide counselling and support services to abused women and children in Martha House, Marys Place and Somerville House in Hamilton. Wage parity with other social service workers was a crucial issue during negotiations. The new four-year contract will expire in March 31, 2008.

While we won improvements on many fronts, we are determined to build on our progress in the next round of bargaining, said Houston. We are pleased that we can continue to provide critical support services to abused women and their children.

For further information, please contact:
Vickie Houston, Vice-President, CUPE Local 5167, 905-536-3815 cell
Gerry Mcdonnell, CUPE National Rep, 905-575-5411
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999