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Front-line workers at Community Living Durham North (CLDN) are shocked with their employer’s latest bargaining stunt that would jeopardize services to people with developmental disabilities and their families, said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 220 developmental services workers at CLDN.

“As front-line workers, we know how important our services are to the lives of supported individuals that we care for,” said Mary McArthur, spokesperson for CUPE 2936.11, representing part-time workers at CLDN. “So, it is very distressing when management pulls the trigger on bargaining talks and starts the countdown toward locking out workers that service supported individuals and their families.”

Prior to the October 14 conciliation meeting with the employer, management threatened workers’ representatives that if the union did not accept their proposals on conciliation day management would ask for a ‘no-board’ report that would trigger a lockout or strike situation. “That is not bargaining, but dictatorial behaviour that our members have witnessed and experienced at their workplace,” said Jacqui Lancaster, CUPE national representative. “That is not acceptable and, unfortunately, with the latest stunt, management started a countdown toward a potential service shutdown that would deny the very services our members provide to supported individuals.”

This latest stunt pulled by management occurred before the union had a chance to fully review and respond to the employer’s proposal. Management forced a ‘no-board’ on both the full-time and part-time units which, once issued by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, would start a 17-day countdown toward a potential service shutdown that could occur sometime in the first or second week of November, depending on when both the ‘no-board’ reports are issued.

“Pulling the trigger on bargaining talks on the fourth day of talks was premature, unnecessary, and reckless,” said John Halik, spokesperson for CUPE 2936.07, representing full-time workers at CLDN. “Management knew that workers’ representatives were going to meet with the provincial government to find out how funding designated for front-line workers will be distributed in the province. It would have been prudent for management to know the outcome of the meeting that would help both parties reach a fair deal, but, instead, we are in this situation that could potentially compromise services that supported individuals rely on.”

Both parties are scheduled for mediation talks on October 27 with the help of a mediator. “We are urging management to come back to mediation talks with the full intention of bargaining respectfully and fairly so we can achieve a fair deal and avoid a service disruption that would hurt the supported individuals that we care for,” concluded McArthur.

For more information, please contact:

Mary McArthur, Spokesperson for CUPE 2936.11, 519-981-9871
Jacqui Lancaster, CUPE National Representative, 905-242-7654
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999