As mediation talks CUPE 1146, representing 33 public health workers and Oxford County begin on Tuesday, the union is urging management to return to the bargaining table with the full intention of bargaining and avoiding a service disruption that could start as early as Friday, October 28 at 12:01 am.

“Our members promote and maintain public health in Oxford County,” said Denis LeChasseur, president of CUPE 1146. “We want to continue to provide these important services to residents in our community – the only way to do that is if both parties are interested in reaching a contract. So far, the employer has not showed any willingness to get there, and we are urging management to resume bargaining with a better attitude.”

CUPE 1146 represents public health inspectors, hygienists, dental assistants, nutritionists, dieticians, program secretaries, parent resource visitors, epidemiologists, smoke free tobacco coordinator, youth engagement coordinator and public health planners. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2015.

“We know how important public health is in our community,” continued LeChasseur. “That’s why we are deeply puzzled that management is trying to roll back our contract, and in one case, trying to force workers to come to work sick – how does that promote public health?”

“All our members want is a fair contract that would allow us to focus on what we do best – helping our community,” said LeChasseur. “We want a contract that will continue to allow workers to promote public health in Oxford County.”