The Children’s Aid Society of Nipissing and Parry Sound has announced in a news release that it is lifting the lock-out of CUPE Local 2049 members, effective Monday morning. That is, if the employees consent to the terms and conditions outlined on the CAS website.

One of the conditions is workers have to agree to the employment conditions being the same as before the lockout began, until a new agreement is reached. Interim Board Chair John Stopper says that the terms and conditions for the return to work are fair and balanced. CAS Executive Director Gisèle Hébert says they value their staff and wants to see them back at work.

Local 2049 president Debbie Hill disagrees, saying she’s disappointed with the move and says one option CUPE members could look at is calling a strike. A release from the union says the Ministry needs to take charge of the CAS immediately. It goes on to say the employer’s negotiators have reneged on their pledge to take outstanding contract issues to binding arbitration and are dodging negotiations.

CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn added three weeks ago they called on the Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau, to take over the administration of Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS. Hahn finished by asking with this latest ruse by the society’s directors, what is Minister Coteau waiting for? Workers have been locked out since December 23rd.