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SUDBURY Health inspectors, water quality inspectors, dental health assistants, dietitians, nutritionists and clerical staff with the Sudbury and District Health Unit are set to walk off the job at 12:01 a.m. on July 27th. Local 1916 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 50 Health Unit employees in the Sudbury area and communities from Chapleau to French River, and Warren to Manitoulin, began strike preparations at a membership meeting last night.

We have been trying to catch up with inflation and achieve wage parity with other health unit workers across the North, says Dianne Denault, president of CUPE Local 1916. We are seven years behind most classifications at other health units, and ours is a teaching health unit with more responsibility.

While many issues have been resolved, managements final offer would still leave employees three years behind their Northern counterparts, and well behind the rate of inflation over the last ten years.

While management awarded themselves 15% raises, the people who test our water to make sure its safe and inspect our restaurants cant even get wage parity.

Our members met last night to begin strike preparations, adds Denault. We care deeply about the communities we serve, and jeopardizing water quality and health inspections is the last thing we want to do but our employer needs to know we are serious.

For further information, please contact:

Dianne Denault, President, CUPE Local 1916

(705) 522-9200, ext. 285

Cora Lee Skanes, CUPE National Rep.

(705) 690-3832, (705) 674-7557 (o)

Robert Lamoureux, Communications Rep.

(416) 292-3999

OPEIU 491/gpb