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As developmental service workers return to mediation talks with Community Living Durham North (CLDN) on Wednesday, November 5, the union, representing the 220 workers, is urging management to get back to bargaining with an attitude to settle a contract and not push for a confrontation that will see workers being locked out by management, causing a service shutdown as early as Friday, November 7, said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the front-line workers at CLDN.

“Mediation this week will allow management a last opportunity to rectify a critical situation that management created by prematurely triggering a countdown to a service shutdown that will impact over 200 people with developmental disabilities,” said Mary McArthur, spokesperson for CUPE 2936.11, representing part-time workers at CLDN. “By the end of this week, management will have a choice to either lock out front-line workers or work with us to reach a fair deal that will allow us to continue to serve supported individuals and their families.”

Management pushed workers toward a Friday, 12:01 a.m., November 7 deadline which would give management an opportunity to lock out workers and affect services to supported individuals. “Our goal from the start is to reach a fair deal that will allow our members to continue to serve people with developmental disabilities without any disruption,” said John Halik, spokesperson for CUPE 2936.07, representing full-time workers. “We will be going back to mediation talks with the same attitude – to reach a fair deal, and we are hoping that management will come back with the same urgency, as their actions could severely impact the lives of supported individuals and their families.”

CUPE represents other developmental services workers in Ontario at over 40 agencies in various stages of bargaining with their employers. None of the management at the other agencies has pulled the trigger on bargaining talks or threatened workers with a lockout, and none of the other executive directors at the other agencies has put people with developmental disabilities at risk of losing the services that they rely on.

“We are hopeful that management now recognizes what they’ve put supported individuals and their families and the workers through with their threats to lock out workers,” said Jacqui Lancaster, CUPE national representative. “Over 200 people with developmental disabilities will be severely affected if management continues their threats to lock out workers and shut down services at the agency. We encourage management to settle a fair contract with workers and not lock out their own staff.”

For more information, please contact:

Mary McArthur, Spokesperson for CUPE 2936.11, 519-981-9871
Jacqui Lancaster, CUPE National Representative, 905-242-7654
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999