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VICTORIA CUPE Local 1978, representing the 10 employees of the Victoria Senior Citizens Housing Society, will be on strike as of 5 p.m., Friday, March 16.

The workers, including seven caretakers, two maintenance workers and a clerical employee, are striking to win a first collective agreement.

There is still time to avert this strike, said CUPE national representative Jim Lamb. But not if the societys directors continue to refuse to deal with issues like including the existing weekly hours of work in our collective agreement.

Local 1978 also wants an improved benefit package that would include the Medical Services Plan and an improved dental plan. Improved sick leave and vacations are also being sought.

The societys directors refuse to standardize the caretaker rate of pay between facilities which now ranges from $10.96 to $14.92 per hour for the same job, Lamb said. And maintenance employees should not have to provide power tools at their own expense.

The strike will affect Dowler Lodge, Sitkum Lodge, Constance Court, Campbell Lodge, Esquimalt Lions Lodge, Townley Lodge and Colwood Lodge. There are 459 suites managed by the housing society.

The employees were unionized on June 16, 2000. Since then, they have been unable to reach a fair first collective agreement. Mediation talks also failed in February, leaving them no choice but to launch a legal strike.

Tenants will have the usual access to their suites during the strike.


Contact: Jim Lamb, CUPE National Representative, (250) 384-8048.