July 21, 2014
Selkirk – Employees at Community Living Selkirk will be holding information pickets at the corner of Main Street and Toronto Avenue in Selkirk, calling on their employer and funder to provide fair compensation for the important work they provide to the community. Community Living Selkirk employees are represented by CUPE Local 3085, and are responsible for providing support to individuals living with intellectual disabilities. Members voted 94% in favour of strike action at a ratification meeting on July 9th. A strike date will be determined in the coming weeks.
“It is appalling that dedicated social service providers are making just above minimum wage” said Sheree Capar, CUPE National Representative, “they provide invaluable support to Manitobans with intellectual disabilities, and deserve to be compensated fairly.”
The current collective agreement expired in September 2013, and following months of bargaining and meetings with a conciliation officer, members voted in June, and again in July to reject the employer’s proposal of sub-inflationary wage increases.
“The population of Manitobans living with intellectual disabilities in the community is growing, as is the need for direct community living care” says Capar, “yet wages for the people who are responsible for their care aren’t even increasing at the rate of inflation, creating serious recruitment and retention issues which impact on care provision.”
Community Living Selkirk employees provide in-house support to Manitobans living with intellectual disabilities, including cooking, cleaning, medication, personal hygiene care, outings and activities, and crisis response.
“Staff turnover is very high, creating increased workloads on staff and often forcing them to stay in the workplace for 18 hours straight” said Capar, “yet the employer has threatened to spend money on replacement workers in the case of a strike, rather than provide support to existing employees, it is simply not fair”.
Check www.cupe.mb.ca for future picket line activity.
CUPE Local 3085 represents approximately 100 Residential Counsellors at Community Living Selkirk.