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The unlikely issue of severance for laid off employees has prompted a strike by 80 members of CUPE Local 1028.

The strike began July 5 at the now closed Halifax County Regional Rehabilitation Centre. At issue is severance for employees who have lost their jobs. About half the bargaining unit’s members and some clients have been moved to a temporary facility at Sunrise Manor and two “small options homes”.

The provincial government, sole funder for the facility, has refused to give management a mandate to offer severance and a retraining program to the affected employees.

Their strategy seems to be, ignore this nasty situation and it’ll just go away,” says CUPE staff representative Linda Thurston-Neeley. “I’ve got news for these government officials; this strike is not going away.”

Many of the displaced CUPE workers had more than 20 years service at the Rehab Centre.