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BELLEVILLE, ON – Mediation talks between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Children’s Mental Health Services will be the last opportunity for management to prevent a strike that could affect counselling and support services for over 200 children and their families.

Management must take full responsibility for putting us on the verge of a strike,” said Carmen Woelber, unit chair of CUPE 3314.3. “Management called for a ‘no-board report’ without any meaningful negotiations, starting the countdown to a strike or a lockout that could affect essential services in our community.”

Mediation talks are scheduled for Thursday, January 12th, with a legal strike or lockout deadline set for January 13th at 12:01 am. The workers’ last contract expired on March 31, 2005. Seniority rights and professional recognition are the main outstanding issues for the 58 mental health service workers, who provide counselling and support services to over 200 children on a daily basis, in Hastings and Prince Edward counties.

Our members are united and we will not allow management to attack our rights and jeopardize the services we provide to children and their families,” said Woelber. “We are urging parents and residents to contact management to demand they come to mediation with the resolve to reach a fair settlement and prevent a strike.”

For further information, please contact:

Carmen Woelber
Unit Chair CUPE 3314.3
(613) 475-5012

Barbara Astbury
CUPE national representative
(613) 542-2069

James Chai
CUPE communications
(416) 292-3999