Canadian Hearing Society restarts bargaining

More services reopened during the strike

TORONTO, March 24, 2017 /CNW/ - On Monday, March 20, the Canadian Hearing Society reached out again to expert mediators from the Ministry of Labour, continuing the negotiations process with CUPE 2073.

"We value our employees and want them back so they can provide our services to clients," said Gary Malkowski, Vice-President at CHS and Executive Labour Relations Team member. "On Monday, we restated our generous offer to the mediators who indicated that they expected CUPE to respond to that offer. CHS and CUPE continue active negotiations through the mediators. Our latest offer indicates how much we want our staff to come back to work.

"CUPE continues to make demands which are not reasonable," Malkowski adds. "If we were to consider and accept CUPE's latest demands, we would have to layoff 35-40% of our staff. We are concerned that CUPE's public portrayal of CHS's offer is misleading and may be contributing to the ongoing length of the strike."

Strike service expansion
Throughout the strike and the ongoing negotiations process, the Canadian Hearing Society is working to reopen more programs and services for Deaf and hard of hearing clients.

"We understand how important CHS's products, programs and services are for the thousands of Deaf and hard of hearing clients we serve," said Malkowski. "While we work towards a new collective agreement, we will continue to expand our service offerings during the strike to minimize the impact on our clients."

Updates to CHS services include the following:

Counselling services 

  • CHS is currently offering Community Walk-in Assistance Clinics for counselling clients with urgent needs at seven locations:


o   Toronto

o   Peel

o   Hamilton

o   Ottawa

o   Sudbury

o   London

o   Windsor

  • New clinics added:
    • Sault Ste. Marie - every Monday, starting March 20
    • Belleville - every Monday, starting March 27

  • Mental Health Support Service appointments are available in the regions of Brantford, Cambridge and Toronto. 

  • CHS counselling clients who have an urgent need should contact CHS:
    • via email at
    • by phone at 1-877-347-3427
    • by TTY at 1-877-216-7310
      Appointments will be prioritized on a first come, first served basis.


Interpreting services:

  • CHS is expanding the availability of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) service to all clients across Ontario. The service is offered through the VRI Direct app - which can be downloaded onto any smartphone, iPad or other mobile device - to facilitate communication at most appointments or community interactions. Please contact OIS through central booking to schedule your event and ensure the technology is ready for your appointment.

  • CHS has also set up secure remote interpreting services with multiple hospitals, including the Sault Area Hospital, via the Ontario Telemedicine Network to handle all emergency requests.

  • LSQ-French interpreting requests are now being accepted via Skype at appelsio.sco. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on increasing our LSQ-French resources to meet client interpreting service requests.


Employment services:

Expanded Employment Services are now being offered, including resume development, job searches, interview preparation, and general consultations.

  • Remotely - connect with us via "CHS Employment" on Skype on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • In Person - come to Employment Service walk-in clinics every Monday from 1-3 p.m. at our Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, and Toronto offices. Belleville will also be offering the walk-in clinic on Monday's from 1-3 p.m. starting March 27th. No appointment is necessary for these clinics. For more information, contact


Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and Literacy & Basic Skills (LBS) classes:

  • After a two-week March Break, LINC and LBS classes are resuming at a reduced level at our London, Mississauga, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Toronto offices. Please contact for class dates and times.


Hearing healthcare:

  • Clients requiring essential hearing aid assistance can drop into our Toronto, Ottawa, Peel, Sudbury, Hamilton and Windsor locations for troubleshooting and coordinating hearing aid repairs, or call our audiology hotline at 416-928-2502 for assistance.


Community Tax Clinics

  • Tax preparation can be a challenging task for anyone. In the past, CHS has provided free tax clinic sessions for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing. It is our intention to continue providing these services again this year. We are attempting to reschedule our March clinics to April, before the tax submission deadline. If you have already signed up for a session at a CHS office, we will notify you of the new time soon and updated information will be posted to our website.


For continued updates on services throughout the strike, please visit our website.

Trusted since 1940, the Canadian Hearing Society is the largest non-profit provider of services, products, and information that removes barriers to communication, advance hearing health, and promote equity for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

CHS is redefining and transforming itself for the future by utilizing its core strengths to find new ways to deliver innovative, value-added solutions and services that allow CHS to grow.

Unique in North America, CHS offers a complete roster of essential services:

  • Hearing Healthcare Services - hearing tests, hearing aid sales, support for people living with hearing loss

  • Education Programs - sign language instruction, literacy training, and public awareness

  • Employment Consulting - assistance with job search, employment support, employment resources

  • Counselling Services - outreach and counselling to older adults, general and mental health counselling, addiction and court diversion services, outreach to children, youth and families

  • Accessibility Services - ASL and LSQ interpreting, Communication Access Real-time Translation, "CART", communication devices, workplace accessibility consulting, conference accessibility coordination, video conferencing


SOURCE The Canadian Hearing Society

For further information: Kara-Ann Miel, Director, Marketing & Communications, Canadian Hearing Society, C. 416.577.7993

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