OTTAWA – Striking workers at Community Living Association-Lanark County and their supporters rallied outside the office of Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services today, calling for stable funding and an end to the 25-day old strike.
Members of CUPE 1521.02 have been on strike since July 4 to stop the erosion of working conditions and the quality of service delivered to Lanark residents with intellectual disabilities. The developmental sector has suffered cuts or zero per cent budget increases for most of the past 15 years.
“We need stable, multi-year funding from the Province or the folks in community living will continue to live at poverty’s doorstep, while the very workers who support them face retiring into poverty,” Paul Moist, CUPE National President, told the rallyers. “We welcomed the 2007 funding increase, but this must be followed by stable multi-year funding increases that address wait lists and long-standing shortfalls in wages, benefits and pensions.”
“Let’s end the legacy of the Mike Harris Conservatives, and invest in developmental services with stable, multi-year funding,” Moist said. “We urge Minister Meilleur to take this message back to her government.”
The workers in Lanark face an employer who, so far, has refused to settle a collective agreement in line with other community living agencies in Ontario, says Karen Bowes, Unit Chair of CUPE 1521.02.
“We call on the Community Living Association-Lanark County to stop spending money on replacement workers and get back to the bargaining table,” Bowes said. “While on your way there, drop the conditions and come back to the table with a fresh outlook to get a deal.”
Today’s rally was organized by the Ottawa & District Labour Council in a gesture of support for the striking Lanark workers.
|Paul Moist||CUPE National President 613-558-2873|
|Karen Bowes||Unit Chair, CUPE 1521.02 613-264-7890|
|David Robbins||CUPE Communications 613-878-1431|