(Fort Frances) – Striking developmental services workers, CUPE Local 65, with the Fort Frances and District Association for Community Living (ACL), are concerned that the association may not be meeting its mandate to the clients during the current labour dispute.
“We don’t believe the clients at the Hudson Drive residence are receiving the care and services that the association is mandated to give them,” says CUPE national representative Jules Tupker.
“The clients are not getting the same opportunities to leave their residences and be in the community as they normally would and they are certainly not getting out to do the work that they are accustomed to doing,”
“A number of the managers and supervisors looking after the clients are not trained and we believe that only the basic needs of the clients are being met. This is not sufficient and should not be allowed to continued,” Tupker says.
The union has written a letter to the board members of the association urging them to accept their responsibility as leaders of the ACL by returning to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair settlement so that the CUPE Local 65 workers can get back to caring for their clients.
“Management’s own coordinating body, The Ontario Associations for Community Living (OACL), has commissioned a study that shows that ACL workers in the province are twenty five percent under paid in comparison to similar workers employed in schools, hospitals and the social service sector,” Tupker says. “The members of CUPE Local 65 earn between $9.00 and $15.27 per hour and would certainly like to make up the difference immediately, but we are realistic and know that it will take some time to achieve that goal.”
The members of CUPE Local 65 who began their job action on May 10th are looking for a pension plan as well as a wage increase that would move them closer to the provincial standard. A pension plan is something that has never been in existence at the agency and the membership is anxious to have a plan implemented.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union, representing workers in health care, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines. CUPE represents half a million workers, including 180,000 in
Neil Walker, Communications Representative (416) 292-3999
JulesTupker, National Representative (807) 345-1731 (office)
Gwen Miller, President, CUPE Local 65 (807) 275-7157 (cell)