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Central Neighbourhood House management said no, but workers said yes
TORONTO, Ont. Workers at downtown Toronto agency Central Neighbourhood House (CNH) are opening their own kids’ summer camp tomorrow, Wednesday, August 22, after their employer sent families scrambling by cancelling the last two weeks of camp programming.
CNH gave just one day’s notice last Thursday, August 16, that it would be shutting down its camp the following day. Management claimed they did not have enough staff, a claim challenged by the union representing workers there, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4308.
We have come together to organize the RESPECT Summer Day Camp so that no parent or child in our community goes without the support, fun and learning that are provided at a summer day camp, said Kelly O’Sullivan, President of CUPE 4308. We tried to work with management to solve the problem, but didn’t get a response, so we decided to do it on our own.
O’Sullivan expressed her gratitude to the Ryerson University’s student union for providing the space for the camp for the next two weeks. She also noted that summer camp counsellors will be volunteering their labour to make it happen. The RESPECT Summer Day Camp will be open from Wednesday, August 22 to Friday, August 31, and will offer a range of programs and activities, including arts and crafts, museum trips and swimming.
We care about the children we work with that is why we do the work we do and why we come back each summer, said Bianca Brideau, a camp counsellor. This is the third summer of working with kids in camp for me and other staff, and our commitment is solid. Hopefully, management will be similarly inspired next year.
For more information, contact:
Kelly O’Sullivan President, CUPE 4308 416-529-9600 (Cell)
David Robbins CUPE Communications 613-878-1431 (Cell)