CUPE livid with Children's Aid Society offer to end lockout, 'this agency is out of control'
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:16PM EDT
The Children's Aid Society of Nipissing-Parry Sound has offered to end a four month lockout and let employees back to work, but the union representing workers with the CAS is not pleased with the move.
CUPE Local 2049 president Debbie Hill said she was shocked when CAS lifted the lockout. Hill said there's been no progress and no change in stance by the CAS.
“Resolving none of the issues that started this labour disruption to begin with, and on top of that, to actually dissolve the union,” said Hill.
“This is an attempt to get rid of the union,” added Fred Hahn, CUPE Ontario president.
“This is an employer that has locked out employees for four months, agreed to go to arbitration on outstanding issues than reneged on that agreement, and then said people can come back to work with conditions barely above the employment standards act. It's unheard of and outrageous they are doing this.”
A media release issued Thursday from the CAS disputes the union claim that there were 17 conditions attached to a return to work.
The executive director of the CAS said there is no plan to undermine the union.
“We couldn't come to an agreement,” said Gisele Hebert, Children's Aid Society of Nipissing and Parry Sound executive director.
“With our staff back to work, the binding arbitration stipulation by CUPE was conditional on the return to work, we weren't able to do that.”
Hebert said the big issue is sick leave; with CUPE wanting to come back to work with full entitlement of 85 days at 100% wage.
She said it's not something the CAS can manage.
“The only solution that we can see is for the Ministry of Children and Families to take over this agency, dissolve its board of directors and take control of these circumstances. This agency is out of control,” Hahn said.