HALIFAX – The union representing most of the unionized workers in local child welfare agencies across the province has some serious questions and a number of concerns, following an announced overhaul by the Community Services Minister.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says, while it’s pleased the government choose not to follow through with changes that would have brought local agencies under the umbrella of the province, it’s wondering whether these plans are a way of doing it through the back door.
The union, along with many local Boards of Directors and other community partners of child welfare agencies, was opposed to sweeping the local agencies into the Department and fought a public campaign against it.
CUPE spokesperson Barrie MacFarlane says, “It’s look like more and more decisions are being taken out of the hands of the professionals in agencies throughout the province and being handed over to officials in Halifax.
“The government is clearly trying to downplay the extent to which ‘centralizing’ some services like foster homes and adoption, on-call services using a 1-800 number and even some of the placement services will make us less responsive to local needs,” says MacFarlane.
CUPE says it has always supported changes that will ensure services are delivered in the best interests of children and families in need, but we do not believe those needs are better met by centralizing all of those decisions in one location.
The government has agreed to meet with CUPE to discuss its concerns about the planned changes.
CUPE Local 4672 president
469-5721 (h - After 6:00 pm)