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November 30, 2011 permalink
On October 21 members of CUPE 3908 walked the picket line in support of striking Peterborough CAS workers, members of OPSEU Local 334. The CUPE local "is made up of over five hundred talented and dedicated contract faculty and student academic workers at Trent University" (quoted from their website).
The academic workers share the union experience with the child protection workers. They differ in the function they provide. University workers provide the invaluable function of educating the next generation. Fixcas invites members of OPSEU Local 334 to use their talent and dedication to learn the real function of children's aid societies. In addition to fixcas.com, you can look at Canada Court Watch for information. We hope it will change your attitude toward joining CAS workers again.
In a second enclosed item the CAS union and management agreed to resume talks yesterday.
CUPE 3908 members walked the OPSEU Local 334 picket line in solidarity this morning. The Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Aid workers (members of the OPSEU Local 334) have been without a contract for some months and now the managers have refused to negotiate. We talked with many of the workers who maintain that their demands are quite simple: workload caps and safer working conditions. These workers provide extremely important services for our community and that their bosses are refusing to negotiate over such basic demands for social workers and staff is appalling.
CUPE 3908 stands in solidarity with OPSEU Local 334. Please go visit their picket line (at the top of Chemong on Tower Hill Road - you can't miss them), and give them some support.
CAS set to go back to table on Tuesday
Employees hope an end to ongoing strike is near
Employees from the Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Aid Society are hoping that by heading back to the negotiating table today an end to their ongoing strike is near.
It has been approximately two weeks since representatives of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 334 met with management to reach a settlement, said Jennifer Smith, president of local 334.
On the picket line since Oct. 17, frontline staff members of the organization have been in talks with management about caseload size, hours of work and standards.
Smith said the approximately 140 employees she represents are ready to get back to the table and back to work.
"We offered to meet earlier so we're not too happy having to wait this long when the interim executive director has been here for a while," said Smith.
Earlier this month the board of directors put former executive director Hugh Nicholson on administrative leave. Nicholson was scheduled to retire from the agency at the end of this year.
Suzanne Geoffrion has been appointed the interim director.
Smith is unsure why the delay in negotiations has occurred but believes the decision to put Nicholson on leave was a step in the right direction.
"They had a mandate to provide service to this region and we have tried for years to resolve these issues. At our last go around at the bargaining table it was pretty clear once they gave us our final offer and our membership rejected it by 85 per cent that Mr. Nicholson wasn't able to resolve the issues to our satisfaction," said Smith, who has served as president of local 334 for the past three years.
Smith said the former director wouldn't even meet the union halfway and that employees have given up a significant amount in terms of demands.
"As a result of that I think the board realized matters were not going to be resolved soon enough with him in that position," she said.
Now in their sixth week of striking, picketers have streamlined their efforts to the Peterborough office, moving away from the Haliburton and Lindsay locations, said Smith.
"There's just more activity there [Peterborough]," said Smith in regards to the decision to move.
Since the strike began both the Haliburton and Lindsay offices have been closed. All services have been conducted by management staff at the Peterborough office.
Management has maintained that essential services provided by the organization would not be disrupted by the strike.
Smith, however, does not believe this has been the case, calling the strike frustrating.
"Service has been severely disrupted all across the board … they're just providing emergency services, if that," she said.
The agency currently employs around 170 staff members.
Smith is hoping OPSEU is able to make some movement this week so that staff can get back to their jobs.
The interim director of the agency could not be reached for comment at press time.
Source: Haliburton Echo