Support workers in Selkirk drop strike plans

A strike that was due to begin Friday morning at Community Living Selkirk has been averted.
Community living workers in Selkirk halted their plan to hit the picket lines on Friday after the Manitoba government announced it is boosting funding to increase wages. (

A strike that was due to begin Friday morning at Community Living Selkirk, sometimes known as Association for Community Living, or ACL, Selkirk has been averted.

Workers were supposed to hit the picket lines this morning but halted those plans after the Manitoba government announced it is boosting funding to increase wages for some support workers in the province.

"We are extremely pleased that the government of Manitoba has heard our call to support ACL workers" Kelly Moist, president of Manitoba's Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), stated in a news release.

"Our members at CUPE Local 3085 worked diligently to raise awareness on the dire need for adequate funding for ACLs in Manitoba."

Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross made the funding announcement on Thursday. She said the government will increase funding by $6 million over three years for agencies that offer residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities.

The money will ensure wages will be between $13 and $14 an hour by 2017, helping agencies retain workers, especially smaller and rural agencies that have had a hard time offering competitive pay, Irvin-Ross said.

"Many ACL workers live below the poverty line, despite being such an integral part of the lives of countless Manitobans who live with disabilities," Moist said.

"Ensuring adequate funding for wages for these workers means that ACLs will be able to recruit and retain the dedicated staff they need to provide these important services."

According to CUPE, ACL organizations provide services that include 24-hour supervision, recreational supports, help with meals, medication, and integration into the community so people can live with dignity and respect.

About 100 CUPE employees work at ACL Selkirk, while CUPE represents more than 600 ACL workers province-wide.