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CUPE Local 1418 launched its Walk for Children this week with a presentation to the New Brunswick ministry of social and community services and by urging members to wear a distinctive purple and orange campaign T-shirt.

The walk follows months of lobbying the provinces Tory government to respect a report commissioned by the previous government. It recommended that 172 more social workers were needed to provide child protection and childrens services.

As part of its campaign, the local has included a clause in its bargaining proposals calling for the new workers as a partial solution to the huge workload problems facing members.

We are asking the government to adopt a clear and long-term vision for childrens services, said local president Robert Lemoignan. We want them to pay more than lip service to this issue. What we need now is action to help children at risk.

The campaign calls on members to stage a walk in their community to collect signatures on a card asking Premier Bernard Lord to take action. It says, Our children cant wait!

Local 1418 represents New Brunswicks 1,150 social workers and other rehabilitation and therapy professionals. Many of them work directly with children and families.

The Walk for Children will continue until the local has signed a new collective agreement.