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Halifax Queens County home care workers could walk off the job as early as 4:00 p.m. today. The employees, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3885, have voted unanimously to reject the employers final offer, and are now in a legal strike position.

We have made very little progress since our last round of bargaining, says CUPE national rep Kathy MacLeod. The employer continues to offer wages that are an insult to this group of hardworking, professional and dedicated employees.

These are people with the same training and experience as health care workers in nursing homes and hospitals, yet they are paid substantially less, even though they put themselves at great risk by going alone into strangers homes.

MacLeod says it is time for home care workers to be properly compensated for the essential and very difficult work they do.

You cant offer a starting wage of $7 per hour and expect to attract and keep qualified people, she says. Home care is an expanding field and it needs to be properly funded if it is going to play a critical role in our health care system.

CUPE, which represents 40 employees at Queens County Home Care and approximately 500 home care workers in Nova Scotia, is working towards a provincial wage and benefit package that will see all home care workers treated equally.

For more information please contact Kathy MacLeod at 1-902-539-5445.