After more than three weeks, striking Emergency After Hours Service (EAHS) workers, members of Local 2316-1 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2316-1) are looking forward to a resumption of bargaining today with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.
“For nearly a month, at-risk children and their families have been without the supports they need in times of crisis,” said Aubrey Gonsalves, President of CUPE 2316-1.
“We are very pleased that Children’s Aid has agreed to return to the bargaining table, and look forward to presenting proposals we feel are the foundation for resolving this dispute, which has gone on far too long,” he added.
Emergency After Hours Service staff provide urgent responses to children facing crisis situations across the City of Toronto, outside the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Highly trained and skilled EAHS workers operate with minimal support, frequently attending high-risk situations at all hours of the day and night.
“When kids and families are in crisis in the evenings, on weekends or holidays, these are the people who are there to help them get the immediate supports they need,” said Gonsalves.
The members of CUPE 2316-1 took strike action July 27, after two-and-half fruitless years of trying to negotiate their first collective agreement. They seek modest improvements to health and safety, working conditions, wages and benefits in an effort to close the gap with their counterparts at comparable Children’s Aid Societies.
“A month is too long for children and their families to not have the level of support they need and deserve,” said Gonsalves. We are determined to bargain a fair settlement that protects the vital services our members provide.”
The two sides are scheduled to bargain today with the assistance of a provincially-appointed mediator. If no agreement is reached today, a second day of bargaining will take place August 28.
For more information, please contact:
CUPE 2316-1 President
416-463-5967 Ext. 3