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(Toronto) Employees at Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), a Toronto-area social service agency, have voted 99% in favour of strike action to back contract demands.

The 80 members of CUPE Local 2137, who provide job counselling, educational and vocational services, along with a long list of other services, have set a strike deadline of October 28th.

Local 2137 President Tia De Agazio says, there are several major issues still outstanding, including unbelievably an employer demand for concessions on our Jewish Holidays.

Wages are also a major issue. They were frozen between 1992-1997 and the agency is now asking for a three-year wage freeze.

Some staff are making up to $20,000 less than their counterparts in similar agencies, says the CUPE President.

De Agazio adds, we have had more than 50 staff leave this agency in the last two years, because they were fed up with being treated like second-class employees. These workers put their heart and soul into their jobs and deserve more from this employer.

Both sides are set to meet with a Mediator from the Ministry of Labour some time before the strike deadline. No date has yet been scheduled for the resumption of talks.

For information:
Tia De Agazio, President, CUPE Local 2137
(416) 588-7907 (h)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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