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For Immediate Release

June 15, 2001

REGINA : After a marathon 43-hour bargaining session, the CUPE Health Care Council achieved a tentative agreement, ending a six-day strike by more than 12,000 health care workers.

The memberships tremendous solidarity and strength on the picket lines have enabled us to secure a collective agreement that addresses many of our priority issues within the term of this agreement, says CUPE Health Care Council President Steve Foley.

This agreement was hard fought and it was hard won, says Foley. Its because of the fighting spirit of our members that we secured major pension plan improvements and a process to deal with the workload issue. Members also will have paid family days and parity with other health care workers by the end of the agreement.

The tentative agreement also breaks ground in providing for the creation of a representative workforce for Aboriginal workers. It is the first initiative of this kind in Canada, Foley says.

The CUPE Health Council President thanked patients, clients, residents and the general public for their patience and generous support through the strike.

Our goal from the beginning was to achieve a fair collective agreement that addressed our major concerns. Because of the support we received - on and off the picket line from the public and the labour movement - we now have that agreement.

The union bargaining council commends mediator Vince Ready for his hard work and diligence in seeing the process through to a successful conclusion. The council also praises Premier Lorne Calvert and the Coalition government for allowing a negotiated settlement to the dispute, instead of imposing back-to-work legislation.

CUPE members returned to work today. Details of the ratification vote will be announced next week.

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For more information call Steve Foley at 546-2185