THUNDER BAY The union for North of Superior Programs workers, members of Local 3253 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is calling on management to return to the bargaining table following assurances from provincial officials that increased funding will flow.
The strike could be over in a day if management comes back to the table and makes a decent offer, says CUPE National Representative Dan Pike. CUPE has information from various sources that an increase in funding from both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has been promised to North of Superior Programs its time they came back to the table and ended the strike.
The workers went on strike June 25th after management put forward a 3-year contract offer with no wage increases. The workers have made significant sacrifices in the past, being forced to take 5 days a year of unpaid leave, or a 2% annual wage cut. Factoring in inflation and the zero per cent wage increases on the table, the workers have lost much of their purchasing power over the past several years.
Its unconscionable for this Board of Directors to continue to deprive this community of essential services, when they have been promised additional funding, says Diane Atkinson, CUPE 3253 spokesperson. Parents, friends, family and clients themselves have been lobbying area MPPs and local politicians, and CUPE has been lobbying the ministries. Finally, it looks like somebody is listening, but not our employer. Its time for North of Superior Management to come back to the table and settle this strike.
North of Superior Programs is governed by a Board of Directors made up of local community representatives. Funding comes from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Health. The workers have been calling on members of the community to contact elected officials and urge them to get involved and end this dispute.
The 30 workers offer mental health, addiction counselling and integrated services for children in communities all along the north shore of Lake Superior, from Nipigon to Manitouwadge, including Geraldton, Longlac and Nakina.
Were anxious to get back to work and were anxious to have a fair contract, says Atkinson. There are people in our communities who really need our services, and North of Superior Programs management shouldnt make them wait any longer.
For further information, please contact:
CUPE National Rep.
CUPE 3253 spokesperson