Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 966, Ontario Works unit, will go on strike at 12:01 a.m., Thursday, May 3.
“This was not a situation we wanted. We committed to our members and the Region to stay at the bargaining table until we were able to reach a negotiated settlement. The last thing we wanted to do was remove our vital services to those vulnerable clients that we serve,” said Mary Jo Falle, president of CUPE 966.
“The employer informed us at the “eleventh hour” that it would implement the terms and conditions of their final offer,” said Michel Revelin, vice-president of CUPE 966. “We made a reasonable offer to the Region in response to their final offer. However, they indicated there was nothing left to talk about. As such, the Region has left the local little choice but to call job action.”
“When we asked whose decision it was to impose terms and conditions on our members, they informed us that it was the Executive Management Committee – the top bureaucrats in the Region. This is a decision that I don’t believe the council and mayors knew about or would support,” said Falle.
“The Region has given us no option. Their concessions and hard line bargaining has made for a very difficult round of bargaining,” Falle concluded.
Services provided include: employment, health and child care services for sole support parents, outreach to vulnerable residents, financial relief for those in need, employment assistance, retraining and education, including resume and interview skills for the entire community, court support for families and children, income tax clinics, assistance with finding housing for families and youth, monitoring rental units and immigrant settlement services.
Picket lines will begin on Thursday, May 3.