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Employees of the Catholic Childrens Aid Society of Toronto escalated their strike action last week with a rally and march from CCAS headquarters to the headquarters of their sister agency, the Childrens Aid Society of Toronto (CAST).

Local 2190s 250 members are furious that the CCAS is asking CAST management staff to act as scabs. Shame on both agencies. Scabs dont end strikes, they always prolong them, said Local 2190 president Sally Woodcock. The union estimates that CCAS is now operating at a caseload capacity of less than 50 per cent.

“They know that even in the best of times, heavy workloads affect the children we care for and are crushing our members. Woodcock said. Using CAST scabs is not going to make the workload issue go away.

CUPE is calling for the establishment of an expert child welfare panel to replace the traditional arbitration process for workload issues. Other Childrens Aid agencies have successfully implemented such panels.

NDP MPP Marlyn Churley joined the march along with CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan and secretary-treasurer Brian OKeefe.

The strike began on July 14. Mediation talks failed when the members voted 80 per cent against the employers last offer in late July.