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OTTAWA, Ont. – The union representing social workers and counselling staff at Ottawa’s Family Services à la Famille, has asked a provincial conciliator to become involved in negotiations after contract talks between management and Local 3661 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached an impasse earlier this week.

We are dealing with basic issues like cost of living adjustments and salary inequities, and management has not been addressing these important issues,” said Mert McDonald, CUPE national representative. “Some of the problems we’re trying to get fixed have been dragging on for ten years – it’s time for management to address inequalities and help our members keep up with inflation.”

CUPE 3661 represents 50 social service and counselling staff at the agency, offering counselling services, social services and programs to families and clients in the Ottawa area. The workers’ last contract expired in June 2005.

We would much rather settle our contract at the bargaining table without disrupting services, but we’re very frustrated with the lack of progress in talks so far,” said McDonald.

For further information, please contact:

Mert McDonald, CUPE National Representative, 613-237-0115

Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999