Community Living Guelph Wellington ready to force workers off the job

    GUELPH, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Community Living Guelph Wellington has
started the clock ticking toward a lockout of more than 350 front line
developmental services workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public
    At the end of the last week, the employer requested a "no board" report
from the provincially-appointed conciliator. A legal strike/lockout date comes
17 days after the report is issued sometime this week.
    "We do not understand why our employer is forcing us toward a disruption
in services and supports for the individuals and families who need us," said
Joanne Smithers, president of CUPE 4392. "We have been trying to negotiate a
fair collective agreement and now, all of a sudden, we're facing the
possibility of being out on the street."
    Workers at Community Living Guelph Wellington were part of a massive
lobby campaign involving unions, employers, parents and families, that
resulted in a provincial government decisions to add $200 million in new
funding over the next four years. More than half is targeted at improving
wages, yet, to date the employer has tabled a wage offer that falls well short
of the pattern established by other recent collective agreements in the
    "We have worked hard to move beyond the days when 1% was seen as an
acceptable increase," Smithers said. "Not only is our employer insulting us
with that offer, they are trying to change our hours so that jobs currently
considered full-time would become part-time." Other issues on the table
include a real pension plan, sick leave and health and safety.
    Smithers says she hopes Community Living Guelph Wellington management
come to their senses before the next mediation date, scheduled for July 5, and
come to the table prepared to try to reach a fair collective agreement. The
local is also planning to hold two parent information meetings on July 3, one
at 4:30 p.m. in Fergus and one in the evening in Guelph. Details will be
announced once they are confirmed.

For further information:

For further information: Joanne Smithers, President, CUPE 4392, (519)
323-2396, (519) 820-5945 (cell); Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, (416)

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