As management and workers of Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society (CAS) resume conciliation talks on Wednesday, August 21, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing the 90 front line CAS workers, are urging the agency to do what it takes to reach a contract settlement with the social service workers to avoid any potential service disruption for at-risk children and youth.
“Our goal is to reach an agreement with management that is in line with what other agencies across the province have been able to reach with their CAS workers,” said Lynn Gauthier-Baxter, president of CUPE 1427. “We are hopeful that management will come back to negotiations with a clear intention to bargain meaningfully and openly to reach a settlement that will ensure continual services for our clients.”
In June of 2011, both the employer and union representatives for the child welfare sector involved in the central bargaining Provincial Discussion Table (PDT), signed a consensus agreement with the intent for local parties (both the agency and its workers) to adopt and ratify the terms of the consensus agreement. Since the historic agreement, the vast majority of the Ontario agencies, including CAS agencies from local areas including, Guelph, St. Thomas-Elgin, Brant, and others, have reached agreements that are in line with the PDT agreement. Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society is one of the very last holdout agencies that has not adopted the central agreement designed to ensure management and labour stability so both parties can focus on serving the needs of the clients.
“We are urging management to work with us to ensure Huron-Perth CAS is part of the movement to reach consensual agreements so we can all focus on what we do best – servicing the needs of our clients,” continued Gauthier-Baxter. “There is no reason for our agency to be left behind, and we are hopeful that we will rectify this situation in this round of bargaining with our agency. To accomplish this, we need a willing partner in management.”
The front line CAS workers’ last contract expired on March 31, 2013. These workers work closely with at-risk children and youth, their parents and foster parents, to provide child protection and child welfare services in their community.
For more information, please contact:
Lynn Gauthier-Baxter, CUPE 1427 President, 226-222-1037
Catherine Robinson, CUPE National Representative, 226-236-2735
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999