05/01/2012 11:57 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Manitobans who work with disabled vote in favour of strike action

WINNIPEG - Manitobans who work with children with disabilities have voted in favour of strike action to try to get a new contract.

Thirty-one members of the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals who are employed by the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities have been working without a contract for two years.

Their negotiating committee has set a deadline of 8 a.m. May 16 to reach a settlement.

The association members are occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech language pathologist who provide services to preschool-aged children with disabilities.

Recruitment and retention of professional staffs are issues, and the association says unless improvements are made to the contract, it will be difficult to keep and recruit qualified employees.

Negotiations with a provincially appointed conciliator continue on Friday.