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On day one of the five scheduled service shutdown days at the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society (CAS), due to continuous provincial funding cuts at CASs across Ontario, CAS workers and supporters are staging a Stop the Shutdown – Fund Child Welfare rally on Friday, October 11, in front of their workplace at 26 Arrowsmith Road in Hamilton, said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 249 CAS workers affected by the shutdown at Hamilton CAS

As Hamiltonians prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend, CAS workers, and their supporters, are here for this rally thanks to the provincial underfunding of CAS services that continues to plague this sector,” said Leanne Slaughter, president of CUPE 3042. “Denying at-risk children access to important CAS services is unacceptable, and our members will show up at work on Friday in spite of their agency shutting down services to balance the budget due to provincial underfunding.” 

Who? Front line workers from Hamilton CAS and their supporters, Speakers include: Fred Hahn, CUPE Ontario President, Donna Baines, McMaster University Professor, Laura Cattari, Hamilton Poverty Reduction Activist, Aubrey Gonsalves, Child Protection Worker 

What? Stop the Shutdown – Fund Child Welfare rally 

When? Friday, October 11, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 

Where? Hamilton CAS office, 26 Arrowsmith Road, Hamilton 

Hamilton has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country – at 20.9%. More than 6,000 children use food banks monthly. In spite of the high level of poverty and demand for CAS services in the Hamilton community, “underfunding persists in the CAS sector, resulting in the first of five service shutdown days at Hamilton CAS,” said Samantha Florento, president of CUPE 3899. “The service shutdown means at-risk children will be denied services including, cancellation of home visits, family court hearings, medical appointments and cancelled home visitations. This is unacceptable, and our members and guests will be here to highlight the challenges of service shutdowns and will be calling on the government to act responsibly for our at-risk children.” 

CUPE represents over 249 front line CAS workers, including child protection and child and youth care workers, office, clerical and support staff in Hamilton, from locals 3042 and 3899. 

For further information, please contact: 

David Michor, CUPE National Representative, 905-730-4296

James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999