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TORONTO - CUPE National President Judy Darcy will be addressing social services workers from across Ontario November 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Colony Hotel, 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto.

Ms. Darcy will be responding to the Harris governments latest attack on welfare recipients in Ontario. On November 14, the government announced it was planning to impose mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. Community and Social Services Minister John Baird said the government would conduct a consultation before their new policy is implemented.

CUPE caseworkers are appalled by this latest attack on Ontarios most vulnerable citizens and they wont participate in the governments bogus consultation, says Drug testing is an abuse of human rights and its not the answer.

CUPE members know that if the Harris government was really serious about helping people on welfare, it would reduce the number of families each caseworker has to work with each and every day. If there were more caseworkers, theyd be able to assist people get the counselling and training they need.

CUPE has recently tabulated the results of a workload survey of municipal welfare workers. Sixty-three per cent of respondents report working overtime without any pay as they struggle to keep up with the paperwork while 87 per cent report increases in workload. 480 workers responded to the survey representing 10 per cent of the caseworker workforce in municipalities across the Ontario.

For more information contact:

Beryl Ct0020(613) 294-7246