Potential labour disruption will impact several service areas
WHITBY, ON June 11, 2014 – The Regional Municipality of Durham would like to remind residents that a potential labour disruption (strike) could impact operations at several Regional facilities, as early as June 13.
About 1,600 Regional employees (also known as our "inside workers") are part of a union (CUPE 1764) that has been negotiating a new collective agreement with Durham Region. These employees provide services in the areas of child care, income support, court services, public health inspections, traffic operations, paramedical services (paramedics), and others.
The Region continues its efforts to negotiate a fair collective agreement. However, if a new contract cannot be reached, these employees are in a lawful strike position as of June 13 at 12:01 a.m.
Contingency plans are in place, which are designed to help avoid any major disruptions to Regional programs and services. Several services will continue between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. However, others will need to temporarily shut down. Below are just some of the affected services.
Residents are advised that an inclusive, up-to-date list of affected services will be available online at www.durham.ca.
WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION
Should a labour disruption occur, the Region will notify the public of any impacts to programs and/or services via the website (www.durham.ca) and our social media accounts of Twitter (@regionofdurham) and Facebook (regionofdurham).
Clients who have questions about their particular services are asked to speak with their departmental contact for more information.
PROGRAMS/SERVICES THAT WILL CONTINUE
Emergency Medical Services (paramedics) will continue to provide essential services, in accordance with legislative requirements.
Ontario Works clients can contact the main office, at Regional Headquarters, by phone. In-person visits will be restricted. Monthly cheques will continue to be processed, and new applications for Ontario Works will be taken via the intake call centre line.
Provincial Offences' pre-scheduled court matters will continue in courtrooms at Regional Headquarters, including pre-scheduled bilingual trials. The office will be open from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 3 p.m. to accept the filing of documents. Fine payments will not be accepted, however, payments will be accepted at any Provincial Offences Court Services location or online at paytickets.ca.
Residents of the Region's four long-term care homes (Fairview Lodge, Hillsdale Estates, Hillsdale Terraces and Lakeview Manor) will continue to receive care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Regionally operated Adult Day Programs will also remain operational.
Children's Services and Durham Behaviour Management clients will be able to contact the Region by phone. Fee Subsidy eligibility assessments, and child-care placements, will continue for the community.
Family services counselling will continue at most locations. Clients will be contacted if sessions need to be rescheduled or relocated. Clients may call their office to confirm.
Health Department programs provided by public health nurses will continue. The sexual health clinic in Oshawa will remain open, but the clinics in Pickering and Port Perry will close. Please contact the Durham Health Connection Line directly for more information at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.
A limited response will be provided by the public health managers on high-priority/emergency calls on environmental health issues. Please contact the Environmental Help Line directly for more information at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.
SERVICES RUNNING ON REDUCED HOURS
Only emergency repairs will be performed within the Durham Regional Local Housing Corporation units.
SERVICES THAT WILL BE UNAVAILABLE/TEMPORARY CLOSURES
Ontario Works satellite offices will be closed (Ajax, Oshawa and Uxbridge); and online applications for Ontario Works will not be available. Discretionary Services will cease, and the Employment Resource Centre will be closed.
All employment-related programming will stop.
Six of the Region's seven directly operated child-care centres will close, since provincial child-to-caregiver ratios cannot be met. These centres include the Pickering Child Care Centre, Ajax Child Care Centre, Whitby Child Care Centre, Gibb Street Child Care Centre, Lakewoods Child Care Centre, and the Edna Thomson Child Care Centre.
Applications for rent-geared-to-income housing subsidy will not be processed.
Water billing meter reading assistance programs will be placed on hold. Customers will not be able to pay their water bill in person, however online banking payments will still be accepted. There will be no new customer accounts set up, and customer service contacts (via this call centre) will be unavailable.
The Provincial Offences collections area will not be open to fine payments. Fines can be paid at any Provincial Offences Court Service locations or online at paytickets.ca.
Some Health Department services are not available, including:
- Home visits by family visitors for the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program.
- Home visits to Infant & Child Development (ICD) clients.
- Oral Health clinical services at the Whitby Mall.
- Claims administration for dental services.
- Inspections of food premises by public health inspectors.
- New applications for private sewage systems.
- Water sample testing of private wells.
- Bathing beach monitoring.
- Sexual health clinics in Pickering and Port Perry will be closed.
- Front counter services will not be available at 101 Consumers Dr., Whitby; 1615 Dundas St. E. in Whitby; or 181 Perry St. in Port Perry.
- Please contact the Health Department directly for more information.
ADDITIONAL DETAILSIndividuals who continue to access Regional services are reminded that there could be picket lines at some locations. Please keep the following tips in mind, as safety is very important to us:
- Be prepared for large crowds.
- If arriving by car, please drive slowly. You may accept or decline brochures/flyers.
- Be patient and courteous; try to keep the conversation to a minimum.
- Arrive early; allow for extra time since delays are likely.
- Inappropriate behaviour, by either side, is not acceptable (and possibly illegal).
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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.