TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – July 3, 2013) – Efforts by the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) to gut their collective agreement won’t just hurt their employees-they’ll also damage Ontario’s Deaf and Hard-of-hearing communities, the union representing CHS workers across the province warned today.
“In many instances, we don’t just serve the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities-we’re also members of those communities,” said Rob Chamberland, President of Local 2073 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2073).
“The concessions proposed by CHS won’t just hurt staff-they’ll hurt our community and move our community even farther away from the very goals of equality and fairness for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing that are a part of the CHS mandate,” he added.
Local 2073’s bargaining committee has met with CHS representatives several times in the past few months. Bargaining will resume later this summer with the assistance of a Provincially-appointed conciliation officer.
Late last month, Chamberland urged CHS Board members at the Society’s annual general meeting to give their bargaining team more latitude to negotiate a fair settlement.
“When bargaining resumes, our committee is prepared to work as long as necessary to negotiate a fair collective agreement. But there needs to be a willing party across the table from us that’s prepared to negotiate with us,” said Chamberland.
“Both sides owe to the community we’re all committed to serving to roll up our sleeves and negotiate an agreement that’s fair to all parties, and preserves the vital services our communities depend on,” he added.
CUPE 2073 represents 260 counsellors, literacy instructors, audiologists, speech language pathologists, interpreters/interpreter trainers, clerical support, program coordinators, program assistants, information technology specialists and other staff at 27 CHS office locations across Ontario.