PETERBOROUGH, ON – 120 low-waged personal support workers and other home care staff with the area Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) are drawing the line in the sand and taking a stand against their low pay. Many people in Peterborough, Lindsay and Haliburton are behind them. A community rally is planned for Wednesday, June 5, at 5:30 p.m., at Peterborough’s Confederation Park on George Street North.

“We are dedicated to the care quality for patients who receive care and other community supports from us. We are worth, and deserve, a pay increase. It’s now come to this – where we are visibly coming out and saying so, and asking people in the community to support, or fight, for decent wages. We are asking our employer to be fair to those who care,” says Meagan Kempenaar, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4419.

For the last few months, the members of CUPE 4419 have faced an employer with little interest in negotiating a fair collective agreement. Even resorting to intimidation and coercion.

“The VON should be fighting the province, which is underfunding home and community care, not fighting the underpaid workers who deliver the care. Hundreds of vulnerable people in the community rely on these home care workers,” says Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario, who will be speaking at the Wednesday rally.

The VON has stalled, tabled takeaways, and brought in someone from their “corporate” wing who is removed from the day-to-day working relationship between these workers and their direct management.

“It is a shameful thing to offer personal support workers and other home care staff, who already earn low wages, a pittance of a pay raise,” says Hahn.

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For more information, please contact:

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300, [email protected]

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