THUNDER BAY – Striking Dilico workers will be holding a rally this Friday to continue to get out the message, and seek to build public support. “We have been trying to discuss, and limit, workloads for 7 years now, and have received nothing but lip service from the employer,” comments Marvin Pupeza from the CEP.
“So our position is that if nothing is going to be done to limit caseload/workloads, then workers need the time off to deal with the stresses of performing this work”, adds Pupeza.
One of the issues on the bargaining table is the number of sick days that caseworkers want. The number of workers facing, what they say is massive stress brought on by a heavy workload is wearing out workers according to the CEP. “Should the employer seriously address this issue, there would be no need for additional sick days,” adds Pupeza.
Striking Dilico Case Workers Plan Rally
The CEP representative says, “The workers, our members, are committed and dedicated to the care for children. Our members can only work within the framework of Dilico policies and procedures, and if not, are subject to discipline including termination. I also want to point out that our members provide service for children and adults in the areas of Mental Health, Treatment Services, Health and Administration which supports these programs. This is not only a child welfare agency”.
“As far as Dilico having no money, the pertinent question is why? Either there is not enough adequate funding from the provincial government for the case volume, or the funding that is provided is not being used with a focus on providing on the ground service”.
“When we see a management vs. front line worker ratio of 1:5, and management receiving salary and pension improvements, one can conclude it is the later,” concludes Pupeza.
Striking workers are maintaining two picket lines, one on the Fort William First Nation and the other on James Street across from the Ontario Government buildings.
During our interview with Pupeza, many horns from drivers going past the James Street picket line were blowing their horns in support of the striking workers.
Strike is impacting families
Striking Dilico workers who are members of CEP Local 7-O will be holding a solidarity rally:
Date: Friday July 19, 2013
Location: Service Ontario building, James Street , Thunder Bay
Strikers and supporters can meet at 9am on James Street, in front of the Heath Park School for a march to the Service Ontario building commencing at 9:30am