Wednesday is Day 93 of the strike by CUPE #65 workers at the Association for Community Living here and there remains no sign of an agreement—or any talks.
Bearing the heat, union members continue to picket ACL housing units on Hudson Drive and in front of the its offices on Scott Street, but their disappointment in the length of the strike is apparent.
“There’s nothing, no word,” CUPE #65 president Gwen Miller said Tuesday. “On the 18th, it’ll be 100 so we’re just short of 100 days.
“The last few days have been pretty hot so that wears on people,” she added. “I think the whole thing is discouraging. I think that people were really hoping [administration] would come to the table with something.”
ACL employees walked off the job May 11 after demands for wage increases and a pension were refused by administration, who have argued the funding for their demands does not exist.
ACL employees have tried to lobby the board of directors, the province, and the community but so far, no other offers have been put forward by either side.
“There’s been no change,” said ACL executive director Alanna Barr. “We’re expecting money. The [provincial] government indicated May 31 the funding would flow in 100 days.
“We’re still waiting.”
Barr said she is in contact with provincial representatives every day but the funding still has not been approved, leaving her little choice but to hold the line ACL administration has stuck to since the pickets went up.
“We’re just playing the waiting game. When they have the information, they’ll pass it on to us,” Barr said.
“I guess there’s been some rumour that we’ve been sent back to the bargaining table and that’s not true,” she added. “We’re waiting for funding and once we get it, we’ll let you know.”
That’s a stance picketers may be getting used to.
“I think people are starting . . . how do I word this . . . they’re starting to see that Alanna [Barr] is not going to negotiate with us until she’s got money,” Miller noted.