BELLEVILLE, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– CUPE public health workers at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health met with the health unit’s management back at the bargaining table again this afternoon. Unfortunately, there was no movement to meet workers’ reasonable, necessary, and affordable proposals on wages and benefits.
As of 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 22, CUPE Local 3314 public health workers will be on strike for wages that come a bit closer to meeting the rising cost of living due to inflation and to secure sufficient funding for public health to protect our communities from transmissible diseases (e.g. COVID-19, flu, STDs, rabies), foodborne illnesses (e.g. E. coli), dirty water, tobacco smoke and cancer, etc.
These 70 public health workers will be joining 50 Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members – registered nurses, registered practical nurses, and public health nurses – who have already withdrawn their labour and are marking their fifth full week on their picket lines.
“Public health workers and nurses do life-saving work for the residents of the counties,” said Kim Craig, public health inspector and President of CUPE Local 3314.
“My coworkers and I are putting mayors Neil Ellis and Jim Harrison, plus premier Doug Ford on notice that we will not allow corners to be cut on the vital public safety services and care we provide to residents.”
Journalists are invited to cover a joint CUPE and ONA rally tomorrow, 12:00 noon at 179 North Park Street in Belleville. Craig will be joined by:
Josh Davidson-Marcon, infectious disease monitoring registered nurse and ONA Local 31 Bargaining Unit President;
Krista Lang, Chair of CUPE’s Ontario Municipal Employees Coordinating Committee (OMECC) and President of CUPE Local 250 City of Oshawa outside workers; and
Sue Croxford, registered nurse at Hastings Manor long-term care home and local coordinator of ONA Local 31.
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Ken Marciniec, CUPE Communications