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Children's Aid Society / La Société d'aide à l'enfance Nipissing Parry Sound

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Letter from the Board

Feb 15, 2017

"My message to anyone who is serious about resolving the dispute is this: let’s step back from the rhetoric and focus on the real issues."

Re: CAS, CUPE ‘should be working together’ (Feb. 13, 2017)

There is no end to the long list of issues and demands raised by CUPE in the current labour dispute with the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound.

According to the latest news reports, provincial funding is inadequate, CUPE will not consider any concessions and, much to the surprise of anyone who knows her, CAS Executive Director Gisèle Hébert doesn’t have a heart. And on it goes.

My message to anyone who is serious about resolving the dispute is this: let’s step back from the rhetoric and focus on the real issues.

CUPE has repeatedly said workload is the union’s key issue. The CAS responded last week by meeting CUPE’s stated goal of workload provisions matching the recent Peel CAS settlement. CUPE’s response: we want more.

The CAS, for our part, seeks adjustments to the Sick Leave Benefit, which imposes financially unsustainable costs approaching $400,000 a year. The proposed adjustments continue to provide employees coverage for 85 days and with several options to offset the remaining 25%. CUPE’s response: no concessions, we want more.

The Health Spending Account, we moved from our position. CUPE’s response: no concessions, we want more.

Despite these setbacks, I remain confident that we can and will reach a negotiated settlement. To achieve this, both sides need to be flexible and always keep in mind our shared purpose in serving the needs of children and families.

In three successive new offers going back to December, the CAS has taken long strides to meet CUPE’s demands. It is now time for CUPE to embrace the same spirit of compromise.

Yours Sincerely,

John Stopper
Interim Board President
The Board of Directors
Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS