A six-week strike by 250 members of CUPE Local 2190 has resulted in precedent-setting language to protect workers from sky-rocketing caseloads.
The employees of Catholic Childrens Aid Society of Toronto (CCAST) now have specific ranges for caseloads in each work category. The new language gives workers minimum bench-marks, a number that triggers a review of their caseloads, and a cap that cannot be exceeded and is grievable, a first in the sector.
As well, the agency will immediately work to fill 20 vacancies for child protection staff, and increase the frontline workforce by an additional 12 positions.
Workload was the single biggest issue in the dispute. The two-year deal also includes a two per cent wage increase retro to April 2000, one per cent October 2000 and one per cent April 2001.
The Local 2190 agreement is now expected to set the pattern for other CAS workers and other social services workers in Ontario, as they fight to put workload protections directly into their contracts.