Community Living Durham North workers tell employer: fight the province, not us

    PORT PERRY, ON, June 7 /CNW Telbec/ - With new funding guaranteed in the
provincial budget for the next four years, workers at Community Living Durham
North (CLDN) say their employer should be acting quickly to negotiate a fair
collective agreement instead of fighting them at the bargaining table.
    "We lobbied hard to get more resources for developmental services to
address the huge and well-documented wage gap among agencies," said
Jill Coffey, bargaining unit chair for CUPE 2936-07/11, representing about
200 full- and part-time CLDN workers. "We are one of the three lowest-paid
agencies in Ontario. Our employer should settle with us fairly so we can
continue to work together, lobbying the provincial government to further
strengthen and secure supports for individuals with intellectual
    The union has requested a no-board report from the provincially-appointed
conciliator, beginning the countdown to a legal strike or lockout on or about
June 23.
    Wages are an issue for CUPE 2936 members. Many full-timers have at least
two jobs, while part-timers are carrying two or three jobs at a time, Coffey
said. Yet, to date the employer has tabled a wage offer that falls well short
of the pattern being established by other community living agencies. CUPE has
46 bargaining units at the table this year.
    Health and safety, including violence in the workplace, is another
outstanding issue for developmental services workers right across the
    "Ensuring a safe environment for workers, supported individuals,
volunteers and visitors is a joint employer and union responsibility," Coffey
said. "That means policies and procedures must be negotiated as part of our
collective agreement if we are to address these issues effectively."
    The union is planning an information meeting for parents and families of
supported individuals. Details will be announced as soon as they are

For further information:

For further information: Jill Coffey, CUPE 2936-07/11, (905) 441-1232
(cell); Casey Thomson, CUPE National Representative, (905) 433-4760; Pat
Daley, CUPE Communications, (416) 616-6142 (cell)

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