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PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Workers at Peterborough’s County-City Health Unit are urging its management to protect the public health interests of the region’s residents by taking a new approach to contract negotiations with frontline and support workers.

The call comes the day after representatives of Local 4170 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed for conciliation with the Ministry of Labour. The union hopes the services of a conciliator will help to kick-start stalled bargaining for a new collective agreement.

“As public service workers, we want to be able to concentrate on promoting and protecting the vital public health needs of our city and county,” said Pam Pressick, President of CUPE 4170.

“But the pace of negotiations and the demands of the management of Peterborough County-City Health Unit have frustrated us at every turn. We believe that calling in a conciliator from the Ministry will break the impasse so that we can reach a fair and equitable collective agreement that protects the city’s and county’s public health services.”

Members of CUPE 4170 held a meeting on November 25, in which they gave strong endorsement to their negotiating committee for this next stage in the bargaining process. Conciliation is a required step before either party can take strike or lockout action.

CUPE 4170 has 52 members in the region’s health unit. Their jobs include public health inspector, secretary, dental health professional, community service worker, IT worker, housekeeper, caretaker, graphic communications,  youth development worker, registered practical nurse, epidemiologist, and bookkeeper.

The bargaining unit’s last two collective agreements each included a year of zero-percent wage increases.

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For more information, contact:

Pam Pressick, President, CUPE 4170: 705-872-1208 (cell)

Alison Davidson, CUPE National Representative, 705-760-5113 (cell)

Mary Unan, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999 ext. 240 or 647-390-9839 (cell)