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KIRKLAND LAKE The union representing 88 workers at the Kirkland Lake Association for Community Living is celebrating a major victory after a deal was reached on the weekend to end the strike which began September 6th.

We were successful in addressing major strike issues, says Jo-Ann Breton, National Representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Most importantly, we negotiated pension coverage for all full and part-time workers in the new Multi Sector Pension Plan.

The Multi-Sector Pension Plan is a new pension plan established by CUPE and SEIU. It is modelled on an existing union-run pension plan in the Nursing Home Sector. It will provide financial security on retirement for many workers in the social service and other sectors.

The deal also includes wage increases of 2.5% and 3% in a two-year contract expiring March 31st, 2003. Other improvements include improved dental and vision care plans, and improved job security language.

CUPE Local 3440 president Fran Ludwick credits the strike support from many other Ontario locals and activists for their victory. The message was clear, we had the support of CUPE members from all across Ontario the employer had to give in and meet our demands.

The workers offer support and care for young people and adults with exceptional needs and are happy to be returning to help clients.

The use of scabs contributed to the length of this strike, adds Breton. While we thank the members of our community who offered us support, we hope employers in the area will not go down this road again scabs tear communities apart.

We thank our members for their determination and strength in the face of a difficult strike, concludes Ludwick. We are going back to work stronger and more united than ever.

For further information, please contact:
Jo-Ann Breton, CUPE Rep.
Fran Ludwick, President CUPE 3440
Ian Thompson, Social Services Coordinator
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications