(WINDSOR, ON) – CUPE local 2073, representing 227 striking workers at the Canadian Hearing Society, has reached a tentative settlement. If ratified by both parties, it will end a nine-week-old strike which started March 6.
Talks were facilitated by third-party mediator John Stout and were spread over four and a half days in Toronto. No details of the tentative agreement will be released until the membership has had the opportunity to review and vote on it.
Membership meetings and a ratification vote are scheduled for May 12. The earliest possible date workers could be back on the job is May 15.
“I’m pleased to say we now have a resolution,” said Stacey Connor, president of Local 2073. The deal, she said, is something she can recommend to her members.
Connor said the breakthrough was based on the strength of her members which, she claims, moved the Society into a, “… compromise mode, with Mr Stout’s help. It should not have taken nine weeks, but here we are.”
She also had praise for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community for its support through the strike.
“They walked alongside us on the picket lines. They brought us food. They wrote letters to politicians and to CHS to say that our issues are their issues,” Connor said. “They were so supportive of us, and we want to say that we are so looking forward to being able to return to work, providing them with vital services.”
The Hearing Society has 24 offices across the province, including one in Windsor. It serves the deaf and hard of hearing community by working as counsellors, literacy instructors, audiologists, speech and language pathologists, interpreters/interpreter trainers, clerical support, program coordinators, program assistants, and information technology specialists.
The majority of the workers are women and 40% of them are deaf.