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NO DEAL - Strike Date Set

Our final conciliation date was set for Wednesday, July 25th. The employer requested that we break for the day and resume bargaining on Thursday, July 26th. In hopes that we would find a resolution, we agreed to give the employer the time to craft a new proposal.

We met on July 26th and were presented with an offer by the Employer. The bargaining team recognized that the Employer did what it could within the current funding envelope, but we were very disappointed that the government did not provide any new funding to fix the fairness and pay equity gap between RJ Caseworkers and Probation Officers.

After providing the government with a detailed and clear proposal about the rationale for a new pay structure for Caseworkers, and the clear requirement for an increase in  funding, nothing has materialized. Our employer tried to reallocate funds in an attempt to bring about a fair compensation structure, and we appreciate their efforts, but we have been clear from the start: the government needs to fund this program properly. Until the government, the sole funder for the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice program, is willing to provide additional funding, we will be taking job action.

The members of our local met in the late afternoon following negotiations and voted unanimously to reject the Employer’s final proposal.

As of Friday morning, we have given the Minister 48 hours notice.

CUPE Local 4764 will be on strike starting at 8am

 on Monday, July 30th 2018.

Please come join us on the picket line at 1256 Barrington St!

As caseworkers who care about this work and the people we serve, we are disappointed that it has come to this, but the evidence-based funding structure CUPE has recommended has been ignored. We deserve equal pay for equal work. The government has increased our files by 149% with the rollout of the adult restorative justice program (discussed in bargaining update #1), and they government needs to increase our wages and staffing in a fair way. We want to remind our readers that with the 149% increase in files, we have received zero additional money, and zero additional staff. We had 248 files in 2016, and 617 in 2017. Something needs to change. We deserve equal pay for equal work. The foundation of restorative justice is taking responsibility. It is time for the government to take responsibility in this matter.

Tiny but Mighty!

We are sad to share that in 2 weeks time we will have lost yet another caseworker due to the unsustainably low wages paid to caseworkers. Our turnover rate this year was 100%. With this loss, there are now six of us. Our gender makeup is now 83% female. We are a tiny local, but we are united in this fight!

We are thankful for the positive responses from our first and second bargaining updates. We feel buoyed by the fact that our Change.org petition has also received over three hundred signatures!

In the Media

We have been successful in raising our voices and educating the public about this situation. If you haven’t caught it yet, here are some great examples of coverage  worth checking out:

- A CBC article
- An op-ed in Chronicle Herald
- A radio interview on CBC Info Morning Cape Breton
- An article in
The Coast
- Us on
Global News
- A
CKBW Bridgewater article

We want to raise public awareness of this issue. Media can contact us at cjscaseworkers@gmail.com. It is our goal to be as transparent as possible about this situation.

We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as all up-to-date information will be posted there.

New Action Steps!

  1. As we enter a strike, we are encouraging solidarity on our first picket day, Monday, July 30th 2018. We welcome you to join us as we stand for fair compensation. Picket begins at 9am at 1256 Barrington Street. We hope to see you there.
  2. If you haven’t already, click here to sign a Change.org petition- every signature will send an email to Minister of Justice Mark Furey!
  3. Please like our Facebook page (CUPE Local 4764) and follow us on Twitter (@CJS_Caseworkers) to get updates that way too. Our hashtag is #justice4nsrj

We thank you for your support! Stay tuned for new details.

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