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WINNIPEG: The 40 frontline support workers at Osborne House welcome the resignation of the Chair of the Board and some members today.

According to Mark Kernaghan, national representative of CUPE, frontline staff has been concerned about the Boards insensitivity to a number of issues related to helping women who come to the facility. Staff members have been forced to make serious decisions without the support and resources to carry out appropriate action.

Kernaghan said that the problems with senior management have been escalating. Since the executive director started work in 2001, the number of complaints and grievances increased, staff frustration has escalated and union representatives have had to spend a lot more time dealing with issues that are easily dealt with in other unionized workplaces.

Over the last year, there have been Labour-Management meetings that tried to improve working relations. Frontline workers have written to the Board of Directors to expose the problems. The Union wrote to the Government to address the issues involved, and we appreciate their efforts to intervene and resolve the problems, but they just could not get anywhere with some of the Board members, added Kernaghan.

The frontline staff will make sure services continue without any disruption. They are committed to the women and children who use Osborne House services and nothing is going to affect this service.

Frontline workers want to do the jobs they were hired for - helping women and children who are threatened by domestic violence. They need to do their work without the fear of a management backlash, he said.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members working in health care facilities, school divisions, municipal services, social service agencies, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.

For information, contact:
Mark Kernaghan, CUPE National Representative at 942 0343, ext. 216
Dennis Lewycky, CUPE Communications at 942-0343, cell: 223-6805