The latest round of negotiations between the Nipissing and Parry Sound Children’s Aid Society and locked out CUPE Local 2049 workers has ended once again without an agreement. CAS Executive Director Gisèle Hébert says they are disappointed in the outcome, and blamed CUPE for refusing to consider compromise on the Sick Leave Benefit, their biggest issue during this labour dispute. Hébert added their latest offer reflects the efforts they have made to come to an agreement and get their employees back to work. Interim President of the CAS Board of Directors John Stopper says they will now consider and explore all the options available to them for the next step.
CUPE Social Services Coordinator Bev Patchell says the lockout is now in its fourth month, and the negotiators for the CAS have shown themselves to be incapable of bargaining a deal that will get people back to their jobs. CUPE Local 2049 President Debbie Hill says they are disappointed as well, and added the longer the lockout continues, the greater the danger to the people they serve. Hill added she simply wants to return to her job along with her colleagues.
Ahead of their rally planned for 12:00pm, CUPE representatives will hold a news conference at 11:30am to talk about what’s next. Union and community leaders will attend and will echo calls for the provincial government to take a role in ending the labour dispute. Workers have been locked out since December 23rd.