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THUNDER BAY While public health officials in Thunder Bay continue to insist that everything is under control, a strike by public health workers including water and septic inspectors is now in its seventh week.

The union representing the 40 striking Thunder Bay Health Unit employees says increased risk to the public is virtually unavoidable as the strike drags on.

CUPE National Rep. Jules Tupker says, one person doing the work of nine health inspectors just simply isnt good odds. We have health officials saying, Dont worry everythings under control. Well I hate to be the pessimist here, but thats what they said in Walkerton!

Officials in that community kept telling the public that everything was under control, for days after the deadly bacterial outbreak had taken place.

Tupker is urging the Health Unit to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement so that public health workers can get back to ensuring the safety of the public.

Members of CUPE Local 1759 began job action on February 23, and argue their demand for the same wages as their counterparts in other Northern Ontario health units could easily be handled by the agency. The 40 unionized employees of the Board of Health are Health Inspectors, RPNs (Registered Practical Nurses), Dental Hygienists, Clerical Staff and Computer Technicians.


For information:
Jules Tupker, CUPE National Rep.
(807) 274-9811 (o)
Vince Chiodo, President, Local 1759
(807) 344-1921 (h)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

OPEIU 491/gpb