Family care workers strike in Thunder Bay

About 350 workers from Dilico Anishinabek Family Care began a strike Monday morning.

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care says contingency plans in place

Workers from Dilico Anishinabek Family Care begin their strike Monday morning. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Workers from Dilico Anishinabek Family Care began a strike Monday morning.

The union — which largely represents mental health and child welfare workers — said 350 workers hit the picket line at 8 a.m.

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union spokesperson Marvin Pupeza, said the main issues in the labour dispute include wages, workload and pension.

He said employees rejected a contract offer a couple of weeks ago that did not address pay and overtime issues. If the organization continues to cite money as an issue, he may ask the province to step in, he added.

"Although I don't welcome [the province] getting involved in a labour dispute ... if it's a funding issue, then they should be addressing that," Pupeza said. "If it's how the money is spent, then somebody has got to start overseeing how that money is being spent."

Limited funds

But the acting executive director of Dilico said funding for the organization is fixed for the next three years and it is not allowed to run a deficit.

"Our financial reality is the same as everyone in this sector," said Darcia Borg. "We are caught between limited funds and constantly increasing demands for our services."

Borg said the agency has a contingency plan in place to ensure essential services are delivered to families.

Dilico operates centres in Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Longlac, Armstrong and Marathon.