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Canadian Hearing Society workers to vote on tentative agreement Friday

Workers protest outside the London branch of the Canadian Hearing Society on March 6, 2017.
Workers protest outside the London branch of the Canadian Hearing Society on March 6, 2017. Liny Lamberink/AM980 News

A tentative agreement has been reached between the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS), and 227 workers represented by CUPE local 2073.

“The tentative deal, if ratified by both parties, ends a nine-week strike hold that started on March 6,” reads a statement by the union. The ratification vote is scheduled for Friday, and until then, no other details will be released.

The earliest that workers could be back on the job is by the following Monday, May 15.

READ MORE: CUPE 2073 launches job action against Canadian Hearing Society

Stacey Connor, CUPE Local 2073 president, said it shouldn’t have taken nine weeks — but she’s pleased to have a deal that can be recommended to union workers.

“I want to thank our members for holding rock-solid picket lines for so long. Because these workers were so tough, we were finally able to move this employer into compromise mode.”

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Connor also thanked the deaf and hard-of-hearing community for walking with workers on the picket lines, bringing strikers food, and writing letters to both politicians and the CHS.

The CHS is also pleased to have reached a tentative agreement.

“We look forward to providing our full suite of programs and services to our valued clients soon, and we appreciate their patience as we worked to achieve a resolution. Throughout this process, and every day, the interests of [the] Deaf and hard-of-hearing Canadians are at the heart of all CHS’s decisions,” their statement read.

CUPE Local 2073 represents workers in 24 CHS offices across Ontario, which serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing community by providing a number of supports, including counsellors, literacy instructors, and audiologists. Ninety per cent of it’s workers are women, and 40 per cent of them are deaf.