Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

March 21, 2011 15:23 ET

Workers at Touchstone Youth Centre vote to strike

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) - Workers at Touchstone Youth Centre, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4358, voted 80 per cent in favour of strike action on Saturday, March 19.

"We have no desire to go on strike – we certainly don't want to take our services away from the young people who use our facility," said Melanie Concepcion, Unit Chair of CUPE 4358.

Touchstone Youth Centre is a 32 bed emergency shelter for 16 to 24 year old homeless and at risk youth. In addition to shelter, the workers address the many issues of homeless youth by offering an Employment Program, Housing Help, a Drop-In Centre and an Outreach Worker.

This August will mark 20 years of assisting youth. Located just east of Toronto's downtown core, Touchstone is staffed by CUPE members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing food, shelter, counselling, and emotional support for youths in need.

Workers at Touchstone live with the constant stress of possible violence from their clients. 

"We have been in bargaining since November 2010 and have met twice with the conciliator, but the employer refuses to move. They have already arbitrarily implemented concessions to our health benefits and now want to entrench that in our contract.

"They want to take many of our other hard-earned benefits out of our collective agreement and they are offering no wage increase. We have not had a raise in pay since 2008," said Mary Cromwell, CUPE National Representative.

Contact Information

  • CUPE 4358
    Collen Dew
    President
    416-300-3258
    or
    CUPE
    Mary Cromwell
    National Representative
    416-292-3999
    or
    CUPE
    Wendy Forbes
    Communications
    416-292-3999