Children’s Aid Workers Stage Rally

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Workers from the Children’s Aid Society represented by CUPE Local 5269 held a rally in front of the Delta Monday morning to show support for their negotiating committee who was holding talks inside. Reps wouldn’t divulge what the problem was with the talks but earlier in the negotiations there was concessions being asked for.

In a statement by Local 5269 earlier this month, they said, “SAULT SAINT MARIE, ON – CUPE 5269, representing approximately 140 workers of the Children’s Aid Society of Algoma, moved to a no-board on August 4 after negotiations with a Ministry of Labour appointed conciliator broke off.

“In spite of our great strides to reach a deal, ultimately the employer is just not willing,” said Cathy Donnelly, CUPE National Representative.

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Algoma CAS workers have been without a contract since April 1. Nine previous bargaining meetings resulted in little progress. In the end, the employer’s willingness to sign off on concessions hinged on the union accepting a self-funded wage increase.

“We know the constraints the employer is under but this burden should not be borne on the backs of our workers,” said Lee-Ann Pettenuzzo, president of CUPE 5269. Pettenuzzo highlighted the shortcomings of the funding formula recently enacted by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and its overall negative impact on communities, especially on our northern communities.

The Ministry’s drive for a balanced budget ultimately impacts the services provided to the most vulnerable in our population. The union is pushing back to ensure the services are sustained for our northern community.”
The union is hopeful that a settlement will be reached soon.