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Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Children’s Aid Society workers at the Children’s Aid Society of Algoma, members of the Canadian Union of Public employees (CUPE) local 1880 recently met with representatives of the national office and received strike support training from a special team of CUPE staff representatives.

“Given the attitude and behaviour of our employer when we last met at the bargaining table, and recent statements that I seriously contest,” said CUPE 1880 vice president Lee Ann Pettenuzzo, “I see no reason to believe that we will be able to settle our differences even with the help of our appointed conciliator.”

The training sessions for CUPE 1880 were held in two locations, Sault Ste. Marie and Blind River. CUPE 1880 requested a conciliator be assigned when it became apparent the CAS of Algoma would not discuss the pressing issues of workload, and safety problems that affect not only CAS workers, but children and families as well.

Wages are the third issue, CUPE 1880 pay is in the bottom 10 per cent of CAS workers in the province, while managers and directors at the Algoma CAS are in the top 10 per cent of their equivalents across the province.

“I must stress,” said Pettenuzzo “that our main concern is to stay at work.  We are dedicated to the protection of our community’s’ children and families.

“We don’t want to strike – nobody does – but we must ensure that our members have workloads that allow them the time required to spend with children and families in the community, and not spending too much time on paperwork in the office.

“We also must ensure that our members are safe at all times while doing their jobs,” she concluded.

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For further information, contact:

Lee-Ann Pettenuzzo  Vice President CAS, CUPE Local 1880  (705) 257-7172
Rick Alexander CUPE National Representative  (705) 943-5515