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NORTH BAY, ON – Workers represented by Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4720-04 at the AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area have set a strike or lockout deadline of July 27 at 12:01 a.m. The workers have been trying to negotiate a first contract for a year without success.

“We’ve been at this for a long time,” said Kathleen Jodouin, a member of the local’s strike committee. “We haven’t been able to get the employer to come to the table to talk to us for months now. We’ve offered dates through a conciliator with the Ministry of Labour – there has been no take-up. It’s time to light a fire under this round of negotiations so that we can continue to serve the community of North Bay.”

The local has identified a number of sticking points in its first contract negotiations, citing in particular wages and working conditions. “A majority of people working here have seen no wage increase for many years,” said Diana Zawadzki, a CUPE National Representative working with the local. “They’ve also experienced a steady erosion of their working conditions. They are a seeking nothing more than a fair deal in recognition for the critical work they provide in the North Bay community.”

“We’re calling on board members of this agency to instruct their bargaining team to get to the table and work with us toward a first contract,” said Jodouin. “The patients and clients we serve rely on us, and we need to get a deal in order to be able to keep providing these critical services.”

Local 4720-04 represents 11 workers at the AIDS Committee, including social workers, outreach workers, medical professionals and others. They provide services like dispensing medications, needle exchange and retrieval, counselling, and critical coordination with other agencies for people in crisis.

The local will be holding a rally outside the offices of the AIDS Committee on the morning of Wednesday, July 15.

Rally details:

WHO:  Members of Local 4720-04 and community supporters
WHEN:  Wednesday, July 15, 7:30 a.m.
WHERE:  AIDS Committee of North Bay, 269 Main Street West (at Fraser), North Bay

For more information, please contact:

Diana Zawadzki
CUPE National Representative (in North Bay)

Andrea Addario
CUPE Communications