BELLEVILLE, ON – Social service workers from the Children’s Mental Health Services in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties are urging management to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, June 18, to reach a fair collective agreement with their workers to avoid any service disruption to children and families living with mental health issues, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing the 52 front-line workers.
“As front-line workers, our members know the importance of continuity in service and care for their clients,” says Cheri Dobbs, CUPE national representative for Local 3314.3. “A service disruption will have a severe impact on continuous care and disrupt any progress achieved by children and their families – that’s why we are urging the agency to come back to bargaining to reach a settlement that ensures continuity and allows our members to continue to serve and care for our clients.”
With a legal lockout or strike deadline of June 21, both parties are scheduled to return to bargaining on June 18, with the assistance of a provincial mediator. Over the weekend, the workers voted 90 per cent in support of their bargaining team to secure a fair contract. The workers’ last contract expired on March 31, 2015. “We are hopeful that, with the assistance of a mediator, we will be able to achieve a fair collective agreement that will ensure continuity of care and service for the clients that we take care of,” said Dobbs. “We are hopeful that management shares our sentiment and will return to bargaining with a mindset to reach a deal that helps clients and workers.”
CUPE 3314.3 represents 52 social service workers who provide community services, including individual and family therapy, treatment and prevention programs, crisis counselling, case consultation services, intensive in-home services, residential treatment services, community development and education and after hours crisis care, and other services for children with mental health issues. These workers serve clients and their families living in the Belleville, Trenton, Picton, Madoc, Bancroft and surrounding areas.
For further information, please contact:
Cheri Dobbs, CUPE National Representative, 613-542-2069
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999