·  Open Letter   ·  

Open Letter to Community and Social Services Minister Jaczek

Dear Hon. Minister Jaczek,

I am writing to you on behalf of the 12 women who are staff at the Sudbury Counselling Centre to bring to your attention a situation at the centre and ask for your assistance.

Members of the Sudbury community, particularly the francophone community, are experiencing hardship and a loss of services they need due to the intransigence of management in a labour dispute at the Sudbury Counselling Centre.

The Sudbury Counselling Centre is supposed to be there to help, but its clients are suffering as the centre’s management prolongs a strike with staff.

Twelve members of USW Local 2020, all women, have been on strike at the Sudbury Counselling Centre since Oct. 16. While the union has compromised in negotiations, the employer maintains a hard line demanding unnecessary language changes in the contract.

Clients have been without their counselling and programs for over five weeks and it’s time for the Sudbury Counselling Centre’s partners to get involved. Partners include the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Partners such as your ministry rely on the centre to be offering needed services to the community.         

The staff at the centre provide counseling and psychotherapy, Employee Assistance Programs, partner assault response for women and men, counselling for women experiencing domestic violence, assistance for male survivors of sexual violence, mental health counselling and more.

Staff are passionate about their work, invested in their jobs and their clients. 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.

There has never been a problem with the collective agreement at the centre, until now, under the centre’s new management.

Negotiations have been difficult with the employer demanding concessions around working conditions and a significant re-write of an employment contract that has been effective for over 30 years. The employer is attacking its loyal and dedicated staff for no reason, and as a result, the community is without services it needs, compounding hardship on people who are already vulnerable and in traumatic situations.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services is a partner of the Sudbury Counselling Centre.

As a partner of the centre, you can help by asking management to respect staff and return to the bargaining table with an honest commitment to reaching a fair agreement.

You can reach Sudbury Counselling Centre Executive Director Carole Lamoureux at 705-524-9629 ext. 203 or CLamoureux@counsellingccs.com.

The staff and the union have demonstrated goodwill and an interest in progress towards a fair contract. Unfortunately, and to the detriment of the community, centre management continues to hold to hard-line positions, prolonging the strike.

Please ask management at the Sudbury Counselling Centre to return to the negotiating table with a commitment to respect staff and reach a fair contract.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

Marty Warren
Director, District 6 (Ontario & Atlantic Canada)
United Steelworkers

c.c. Hon., Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General, Hon. Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, Katharine Bambrick, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Trillium Foundation


For further information:

Marty Warren, USW Ontario and Atlantic Director, 416-243-8792
Lynne Descary, USW Staff Representative, 705-675-2461 x 224, ldescary@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

Press Inquiries

Thank You

Thank you for contacting us. We will try to get back to you in a timely manner.

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Shannon Devine
416-544-5946 or

Communications Department - Québec
Clairandrée Cauchy

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
234 Eglinton Ave. E., 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4P 1K7