Children’s aid workers are hoping that their employer’s willingness to go back to the bargaining table tomorrow (Friday) signals both an end to the lockout that began on December 23 as well as a return to high-quality child protection in northern communities.

The lockout of child welfare workers is heading into its eighth week in the districts of Nipissing and Parry Sound.

“We are eager for an end to the lockout and for a deal that means we can keep children safe,” said Debbie Hill, president of Local 2049 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Through their collective bargaining, CAS workers want to address aspects of their jobs that keep them from providing the best possible child protection services to vulnerable families.

CUPE members have identified excessive workloads – too much work for too few staff – as one of the main dangers that could cause children and youth to “fall through the cracks” of overstretched child welfare services.