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ESPANOLA – The union representing 46 support workers at the Espanola and District Association for Community Living (ACL) will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. on October 24th. The union and the employer failed to reach an agreement in conciliation talks yesterday.

“While some progress was made in the talks yesterday, we failed to reach an agreement on the central issues of fair wages, benefits for part-time workers and pensions,” says Anna Sweet, a national representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).”

“We remain available to sit down with this employer and reach a settlement – if it is fair,” says Mike Boivin, president of CUPE Local 2462.01. “Our primary concern is continued care and support for our clients, but make no mistake: we are prepared to strike if necessary to achieve a fair collective agreement.”

“Our members have taken strike preparation seminars and received training on strike logistics,” says Boivin. “We will do everything we can to avoid a strike, but at the end of the day we have families to support and we need to be prepared for a fight if it becomes necessary.”

Members previously voted 98 percent in favour of strike action if a collective agreement cannot be reached.

“Our wages have not kept pace with inflation,” says Boivin. “Our work is very stressful and the people who depend on us deserve some stability. That’s why we’re fighting for fair wages – to help retain qualified staff, reduce turnover rates and ensure our clients get all the support they need.”

This predominantly female group of 46 workers offers counselling, support and care for young people and adults with exceptional needs, including developmental and behavioural problems, in group homes and individual housing.

“We are reaching out to family and friends of our clients and the community at large,” says Boivin. “We’re asking members of the community to contact the ACL’s administrator and tell him to negotiate a fair deal and avoid a strike.” (A copy of the Local’s flyer is attached to this news release)


For further information, please contact:
Anna Sweet, CUPE National Rep.
Mike Boivin, CUPE 2462.01 President
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications Rep.