CAD-ASC’s Comments on CHS Strike
The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC) is the national information, research, and community action organization of Deaf people in Canada. We promote and protect the rights, needs, and concerns of Deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) and langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).
CAD-ASC recognizes that CHS workers have gone four years without a contract due to labour issues between CHS management and CUPE 2093 workers. The inclusion of Deaf stakeholders across Ontario is very critical to ensure that the leadership role of our linguistic cultural minority is respected in the process.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) formally recognizes Sign languages and confirms their equal status to spoken/written languages in the signatory countries. Canada’s Parliament, as one of the signatories, ratified the treaty in March 2010. The work and employment is referenced in the CRPD, specifically in Article 27, which “protects the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances.” (Article 27, section b)
A quick and fair labour agreement between CHS and CUPE 2093 will benefit everyone across Ontario, not only the employees and CHS management, but also all the clients and customers who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind that depend on the essential services that CHS provides. We would like to ask CHS and CUPE 2093 to sit down at the bargaining table to discuss the distressing issues between CHS management and the union.
We sincerely hope that they will reach an agreement as soon as possible because Deaf people in Ontario deserve these services such as employment, mental health, interpretation, literacy and basic skills program, and other services on daily basis throughout the province.
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