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Pair pledge beards for CUPE

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Morley Reeve Gary Gamsby, who also is the president of the local Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, has pledged to shave his beard for striking CUPE members.

Gamsby, who has had his beard since 1976, is joining Pinewood resident and CUPE #65 member Kevin Kennedy--who has only shaved once since ’76--in collecting pledges in support of striking employees of the Fort Frances and District Association of Community Living.

Kennedy will shave it all off if $1,000 can be raised

“I was asked by one of my co-workers to have the beard shaved off on Friday, July 13 at their social event--a fundraiser for CUPE,” he said. “I said at the spur of the moment if there’s $1,000 cash, it would come off.”

Meanwhile, Gamsby will shave his beard if an additional $1,000 is raised after being approached during a cheque presentation he made on behalf of the ETFO last week.

“I asked him if he would do the same thing . . . I asked him kind of cautiously because his beard is more distinguished than mine,” said Kennedy.

“I’ve never seen him without his beard,” noted Gamsby’s 22-year-old son, Tyler. “My mom said his family would probably chip in 500 bucks.”

CUPE #65 employees have been off the job since May 11. They are demanding wage increases and a pension plan but ACL administration has argued there is not enough funding to provide.

While administration is running most of the programs except the activity centre, Treasure Chest, and Good Impressions Printing, no talks have been scheduled to date while both sides wait for counter-proposals.

“No, we’re pretty much in the same situation as I gave you last week,” noted ACL’s executive director Alanna Barr, who indicated Friday that administration was waiting for an offer from ACL employees.

“As far as waiting for us to get back to them, we did get back to them. That’s why we’re on strike,” argued CUPE Local #65 president Gwen Miller.

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