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(Toronto) Striking frontline workers with the Catholic Childrens Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) will stage a candelight vigil tomorrow evening (August 23, 2000 at 8:00 p.m. at 26 Maitland), to highlight the number of children who have not been protected from abuse and remain vulnerable in this province.

The members of CUPE 2190 will then march over to the Coroners Office at 26 Grenville Street (west of Yonge St.).

The vigil and march are in memory of those children who have died while CCAS/CAST (Childrens Aid Society of Toronto) have been involved, as well as those children who remain at risk of abuse and neglect in the community.

In response to several child death inquests, numerous child welfare initiatives have recently been undertaken in Ontario. Amendments to the Child and Family Services Act have dramatically increased frontline child protection workers caseloads and documentation.

As a result, workload is the only outstanding issue in the CCAS strike, which began July 14. To date, CCAS managements response to increased workload has been to attend meetings, promise relief and implement nothing.

Moreover, management and administrative staff at CCAS comprise 46% of total staff and the remaining 54% frontline workers still estimate that they spend 80% of their time performing administrative functions. Members of CUPE 2190 believe that CCASs poor management of the ensuing workload crisis has ultimately led to increased risk of abuse, neglect and death for this communitys children.

The candlelight vigil will attempt to honour the lives and deaths of children in need.

For more information:
Isabel Santos, Local 2190 Spokesperson
(416) 465-3638
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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