CUPE National President Mark Hancock and MPP Jeff Burch with striking workersOn the eve of their fourth week on strike, developmental service workers have reached a tentative agreement with Community Living Port Colborne-Wainfleet.

“I am proud of my coworkers and the strength of our Union,” said CUPE 2276 Vice President Cassie Bisson. “The work we do can be invisible to so many. But we weren’t willing to remain invisible or accept less than we’re worth. Our members stayed united and the bargaining team is going to stand behind this agreement and all that we achieved for our coworkers.”

The three-week long strike brought simmering staffing and scheduling challenges to the forefront, giving voice to workers who’ve long felt like their passion for the job and dedication to the people they serve can be weaponized against them. Niagara area residents responding with a wave of public pressure, swelling picket lines, attending rallies, and sending more than 1000 messages of support.

“This deal would not have happened if the courage of my coworkers wasn’t met with equal support from families of residents, community members, and allies across the labour movement,” said Bisson. “We are grateful to everyone who stood with us through this struggle and we are excited to get back to doing what we love to do: helping people with intellectual disabilities live rich, fulfilling lives.”

Picket lines will come down immediately. CUPE 2276 will hold a one-day ratification vote beginning on Sunday at noon. No further information will be released publicly until the tentative agreement has been presented to the membership.