The workers at St. Christopher House, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3393, are disappointed and frustrated that their employer has chosen to fight them at the bargaining table instead of negotiating a settlement that would benefit services for people who are supported by the agency. The employer opted to escalate bargaining into an all-out confrontation forcing a strike effective 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, May 29.
St. Christopher House, a community support centre in downtown Toronto, offers a wide range of services to the community. The 190 members provide programs for all ages from toddlers through seniors, case management, employment services, immigrant support programs, counselling, adult literacy, youth camps, and a homeless drop-in centre, among many other programs.
“The services we provide are vital to the health of our community, and the quality of those services are directly tied to keeping our skilled front line staff,” said Matt Graves, CUPE National representative. “Like many of our clients, workers at St. Christopher House are struggling to make ends meet. We can’t afford to end up with less as a result of this round of bargaining. We will lose dedicated workers as they cannot afford to stay.
“While we want to reach a negotiated settlement because our first concern is for the well-being of our clients, we’ve made it clear to the agency’s negotiators that workers are no longer prepared to shoulder the burdens of provincial underfunding through low wages and overwork.
“The last thing we wanted was a strike,” Graves concluded. “We are committed to going back to the bargaining table to hammer out an agreement, but it needs to be one that’s fair to our members and the people they support.”
For more information, please contact:
Co-President, CUPE Local 3393
CUPE National Representative