Windsor, ON … Program cuts announced by the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society (CAS) are the wrong option and should be cancelled, especially when decisions are still pending from a provincial funding review and while the new provincial Commission appointed to address the crisis in children’s aid has barely begun its work, says the president of the union representing workers at the CAS.
“Cutting services to children is simply the wrong way to deal with a shortfall in provincial funding,” said CUPE Local 2286 President Cathy Matthe in response to announced cuts to Children’s Aid Society programs including Kinship, Family Wellbeing and Residential Support and involving the layoff of twelve people effective February 07, 2010.
The Windsor Essex CAS Executive Director issued a memo to staff last week saying cuts are due to the province’s failure to provide necessary funding. ”Without additional money to pay for these positions, we don’t know what else can be done.” Bill Bevan wrote on November 27.
The CAS Executive Director says understaffing has compromised the Children’s Aid Society’s ability to achieve compliance with Ministry defined service objectives. Referring to a recent audit of the Crown Ward program, Bill Bevan wrote that “Compliance has already been impacted by the fact that we have been under compliment in Children’s Services for several months now.”
“Even though the Ontario government is leaving Windsor kids without the full support they need, it is not a sufficient excuse for our children’s aid management to cut programs. lf Dwight Duncan wants to cut services to children so he can balance his spring budget, our CAS should let him do his own dirty work and let him be accountable to the children and families in this community,” Ms. Matthe said today.
“Matthe says: “Politicians in Windsor will face tough going in the next Ontario election if they are silent while children’s services are cut back.”
CUPE Local 2286 represents 317 front line workers and support staff at the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society.
Cathy Matthe, President - CUPE Local 2286 519-996-4438
Joel Bentley, CUPE National Representative 519-966-9595
Chris Watson, CUPE Communications 416-553-9410