The members of CUPE 1759, who tirelessly support the entire Thunder Bay region, have given voice to their ongoing frustrations with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. In a resounding display of unity and determination, the union’s members, representing frontline staff in the district of Thunder Bay, have delivered an extraordinary 99 per cent strike mandate.

This vote comes as CUPE 1759 and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit negotiate a new collective agreement, with conciliation scheduled for September 7 and 8. These dedicated workers, who are instrumental in protecting the district, are advocating for fair working conditions and improvements that will ensure the continued safety and well-being of the community.

“It’s important to recognize that without the relentless efforts of CUPE 1759, the Thunder Bay District would have faced even more extensive devastation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Katy Johnson, president of CUPE 1759. “Our members, who are not only committed public servants but also parents, caregivers, and individuals with compromised immune systems themselves, persevered to support the communities they hold dear. They are the front line.”

Throughout the pandemic, CUPE 1759 members courageously worked long hours, committed to seven-day workweeks, and undertook tasks beyond their job descriptions to safeguard the district against the pandemic’s devastating effects.

As negotiations continue, CUPE 1759 remains committed to ensuring the well-being of the Thunder Bay District and advocating for the rights of its members. Their pivotal role in safeguarding the community through essential services, such as food safety inspections, daycare oversight, and overseeing land development, particularly in the approval of septic system applications, underscores their commitment to public health and safety.

About CUPE 1759:

CUPE 1759 represents dedicated public health and municipal service workers in the Thunder Bay region, including Nipigon, Red Rock, Marathon, Manitouwadge, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Geraldton, Longlac, Nakina, Caramat, Armstrong, Upsala, and everything in between. Their essential services extend to environmental health, land development oversight, the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program, oral health initiatives, and comprehensive public health, including harm reduction and outreach programs.