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A new Ontario study sends a warning to other provinces that under funding and restructuring of the social services sector leads to increased injuries, stress and health problems for workers.

The study by Dr. Donna Baines of McMaster University, funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, documents dramatically increased workloads and health risks associated with overwork and burnout among social services staff the result of reduced funding caused by the restructuring of Ontarios social services sector. Restructuring has also exposed workers and clients to higher levels of stress and violence.

National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Gnreux says that CUPE participated in the study in order to document the specific problems that have been affecting thousands of members who work in social services agencies in Ontario and across Canada.

CUPE is taking up the problem of workload across the country. We are calling on the federal government to take action by reversing the cuts in transfer payments for social services to the provinces, he says. Social service workers are supposed to provide support and assistance to people in our communities. How can they do this effectively when they are suffering because of their own working conditions and circumstances?

This report documents the problems and makes recommendations that could restore respect and health to this sector of dedicated workers. This is one of the key goals of our RESPECT campaign to address issues of concern to social service workers, says Gnreux.

View the report