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TORONTO Employees of the Catholic Childrens Aid Society (CCAS) of Toronto begin strike escalation today with a rally and march from CCAS headquarters to the headquarters of their sister agency, the Childrens Aid Society of Toronto (CAST).

NDP MPP Marlyn Churley will join CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan and Secretary Treasurer Brian OKeefe at noon at 26 Maitland Street and proceed with the strikers to CAST at 33 Charles Street.

The 250 members of Local 2190 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who have been on strike since July 14, are furious that the CCAS is asking management staff of CAST to function as scabs. “Shame on both agencies. Scabs dont end strikes, they always prolong them, says Sally Woodcock, President of CUPE Local 2190.

The union estimates that CCAS is now operating at a caseload capacity of less than 50 per cent.

“They know that even in the best of times, heavy workloads affect the children we care for and are crushing our members. Using CAST scabs is not going to make the workload issue go away.

CUPE is calling for the establishment of an Expert Child Welfare Panel to replace the traditional arbitration process for workload issues. Other Childrens Aid agencies have implemented such a mechanism with some degree of success.

This is nothing new, says Woodcock. The Union has been working with the Society on this issue years. The high hopes we had for the Joint Workload Committee which we negotiated in 1998 have been dashed. Things are even worse now than they were two years ago.

The strike began on July 14th. Mediation talks failed when the members voted 80 percent against the employers last offer in late July.

For further information, please contact:

Sally Woodcock
President, CUPE Local 2190,
(416) 809-9773
Peter Paulekat
CUPE National Rep.
(416) 419-1281
Catherine Macleod
CUPE Communications
(416) 292-3999

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