Strike update

While striking employees with the Fort Frances and District Association for Community Living (CUPE #65) approach their 100th day on the picket line, the union’s national rep said clients are not receiving proper care.
“We don’t believe the clients at the Hudson Drive residence are receiving the care and services that the association is mandated to give them,” charged Jules Tupker.
“The clients are not getting the same opportunities to leave their residences and be in the community as they normally would, and they are certainly not getting out to do the work that they are accustomed to doing,” he added.
ACL management has been providing client services since employees hit the picket lines May 11 to back demands for higher wages and a pension plan.
Management shut down Good Impressions Printing, the Treasure Chest, and an activity centre in order to handle the staff shortage but ACL executive director Alanna Barr insisted the services still being offered are meeting clients’ needs.
“The clients that are receiving care are receiving excellent care,” said Barr. “The people that are delivering this service right now have over two centuries of experience.”
Some clients, such as employment services clients, are not receiving service for the duration of the strike, she confirmed.
“There are individuals in the community who are not receiving services or who are receiving limited services,” Barr said.
No talks have been scheduled since the strike began although union reps say they’ve written a letter to the ACL board members urging them to return to the bargaining table.
“Management’s own co-ordinating body, the Ontario Associations for Community Living, has commissioned a study that shows that ACL workers in the province are 25 percent under paid in comparison to similar workers employed in schools, hospitals, and the social service sector,” said Tupker.
“The members of CUPE Local 65 earn between $9 and $15.27 per hour and would certainly like to make up the difference immediately, but we are realistic and know that it will take some time to achieve that goal,” he added.