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USW 2020



Sudbury Counselling Centre

Start of Dispute:

End of Dispute:


December 22, 2017

UPDATE: Congratulations to the Staff at the Sudbury Counselling Centre, members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2020, which ended 10 weeks on the picket line with the ratification of a new three-year collective agreement – just in time for the holidays.

“These 12 women can go back to work in January with their heads held high,” said Lynne Descary, USW Staff Representative. “They stood strong on the picket line for 10 weeks, thanks to the support of the community, their clients, the Ontario Federation of Labour and Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas.”

“Local 2020 sure knows how to brighten our world! Their incredible solidarity throughout this struggle has paid off with a strong collective agreement to be proud of. This is great news just in time for the holidays,” said Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director.

To read the full press release and to learn more about the gains and protections these workers won visit:

Solidarity Action: Call or email Executive Director Carole Lamoureux at 705-524-9629 ext 203 or to ask management to return to the table with an honest commitment to reaching a fair agreement.

A staff of 12, including psychotherapists, counsellors and administrative staff – all women – are on strike. Working at a charitable non-profit centre is by no means highly paid, but it’s not about the money.

Staff want to continue helping the people of Sudbury, as they have done since 1971, including providing programs for the francophone community that are not available anywhere else in the community.

On strike since Mon., Oct. 16, staff welcome the support from community allies such as MPP France Gélinas.

“The employer is demanding concessions around working conditions and a re-write of an employment contract that’s been effective for over 30 years. There’s been no history of grievances with the employment contract. The employer is attacking these workers for no reason,” said Lynne Descary, USW Staff Representative.

Counselling staff offer counselling and psychotherapy, deliver Employee Assistance Programs, partner assault response for women and men, counselling for women experiencing sexual and domestic violence, assistance for male survivors of sexual violence, mental health counselling and more.

“Staff on the picket line are emotional because clients are showing up for appointments and leaving in tears when they find out the services they need aren’t available. Management has made no effort to let clients know services are suspended,” said Descary.

Counselling staff are apologizing to clients and to community partners who refer clients to the centre. While on strike, the counselling staff will continue to offer the Child Witness Program to young children scheduled to appear in court.

The staff members are asking clients and agency partners to contact management and ask the employer to respect the staff and return to the table with an honest commitment to reach a fair agreement.

The existing collective agreement expired on July 31. Bargaining since August 24, there’s been no movement after four conciliation meetings.

For further information:

Lynne Descary, USW Staff Representative, 705-675-2461 x 224,

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