Strike looming at Central Neighbourhood House

    TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - In strike votes held yesterday and today,
workers at Central Neighbourhood House, a downtown multi-service community
agency, declared their willingness to strike on Wednesday, October 17 unless
they can reach a fair contract with their employer.
    "We do not see any of the programs we provide interrupted unnecessarily,"
said Kelly O'Sullivan, president of CUPE 4308, which represents about 100
workers at the agency. "However, we need our employer to see that we are
serious about getting a collective agreement that provides a fair wage
increase and improved working conditions."
    The workers have been in a legal strike position since mid-July, after
management requested a "no board" report from the provincially-appointed
conciliator and set the stage for a lockout or strike. "Despite setting that
deadline, the employer walked away from the last conciliation meeting and
would not meet the union face-to-face," said O'Sullivan.
    "We have been trying to bargain with this employer for 18 months," she
said. "They have to move away from their expectation that these workers, who
have been falling behind year after year, will accept an increase of less than
one-half a per cent a year when the cost of living is expected to increase by
two per cent or more."
    The workers at Central Neighbourhood House provide child care,
after-school care, stroke recovery and home support among other programs. They
endured a difficult 34-day strike in 2003 in order to achieve their last
collective agreement.

For further information:

For further information: Kelly O'Sullivan, President, CUPE 4308, (416)
529-9600; Garth Smith, CUPE National Representative, (416) 292-3999; Pat
Daley, CUPE Communications, (416) 616-6142

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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