(TORONTO) 005400680065 president of Canada’s largest union, CUPE’s Judy Darcy, says today’s decision by a provincial court judge not to send the case of Catholic Children’s Aid Society worker Angie Martin to trial on charges of criminal negligence causing death was “the right thing to do.”
Speaking to reporters at Toronto’s Old City Hall after the court ruling came out this morning, Darcy said, “Sending Angie Martin to trial would, in essence, have put every frontline worker in this country on trial. This one worker should not have to bear the responsibility for an entire social services system that failed to meet the needs of a child who was in crisis.”
Said Darcy, “Individual workers cannot be held responsible for a system which is being chronically under-funded, facing constant downsizing and restructuring. The result has been dramatic increases in caseloads, with both staff and clients suffering in the long run.”
“The judge was not prepared to make one frontline workers a scapegoat for a system that’s been broken for many years,” said the CUPE National President.
Ms. Martin was charged in August, 1997. The pre-trial hearings have lasted 18 months.
CUPE represents 18,000 social services workers across Ontario, including Ms. Martin who is a social worker with the Catholic Children’s Aid Society.
CUPE social services workers across this province showed their solidarity with Angie Martin today by wearing burgundy ribbons.
To read more about workload problems in the Ontario Social Service sector click here.
CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)
(416) 200-6126 (Cell)
(613) 237-1590 (o)