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Eight members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3844, working at the Physical and Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Thunder Bay, could go on strike as soon as this Friday. A final mediation meeting is scheduled for Wednesday June 4th with a third party representative from the Ministry of Labour, but no real progress is expected from this last series of bargaining.
We have been at the table since December of last year, and there has been no real improvement on the main issues, explains Mike Walters, CUPE representative. These employees have received very small wage increases in the past few years and the employer is only offering less than 2% total for a two year deal, said Walters.
Disappointed by this process and looking for a fair deal, members of CUPE local 3844 gave strong support to their bargaining committee. At a special meeting in May, they voted 100% in favor of giving their committee a strike mandate.
As Walters underlines, this does not mean that a strike is unavoidable: The priority of our members is to keep doing their job and continue helping the people of Thunder Bay who are in need. But in order for us to work in decent conditions, some important issues need to be addressed at the bargaining table. We still hope that Wednesday’s mediation meeting will allow us to avoid a strike action but we are ready for the worst case scenario.
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For more information, contact:
Mike Walters, CUPE National representative