June 30, 2010
Sustainable Funding Campaign 2010
The Sector Executive thanks the
regional mobilizers: Brenda Malott, Melody Lachance, Tom Howard, Johanne Wyss-Huskinson,
and Jane Kaija for all of their hard work on this campaign! Thanks to all units
who circulated our flyer and brought our message to your communities.
On June 7 units across Ontario
launched the provincial lobby with fundraising events for vulnerable children.
Units in London, Brockville, Cornwall, Sudbury, Waterloo and Ottawa held events
and were covered by local print media, radio and television. For a review of
coverage go to the OPSEU website: http://www.opseu.org/bps/cas/sustainable-funding.htm.
In response to the OPSEU media
coverage, the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Laurel Broten, wrote
letters to the editor in the same communities. OPSEU responded with a letter to
the editor from unit presidents in those communities. CAS OPSEU members have
been meeting with MPPs from all three parties across the province asking the
government to stop the CAS deficit crisis and bring the provincial CAS funding
formula into the 21st century. Members also demanded that poverty reduction be
made a provincial priority.
Our campaign has been met by
limited government action. In November 2009 our sector joined with child
treatment, other unions and employer groups, demanding that the Minister stop
the funding crisis. The Minister responded with a stop gap measure of $26.9
million in February 2010, for child protection.
In May the Minister informed
agencies that previous mitigation funds would now be rolled into 2010
allocations. Some additional money was also given to agencies for kinship and
Our position is that because not
all agencies received funding assistance for their deficits, some will continue
to be in a deficit position. In fact, some agencies received no funding
assistance while other agencies, not enough. ( cont’d p.2)
CASe Notes . 2
cont’d from p. 1)
With no increase to base funding
the agencies that were facing bankruptcy will be in the same position in early
fall. This latest funding announcement only confirms the dire state of funding
for these crucial services. The Ministry must recognize that the policy vision
for child welfare services has not been supported by the funding model. The
outdated funding model must be changed to stop the persistent funding crisis in
In Solidarity, your CAS Sector
Sustainability Commission Meeting with OPSEU,
CUPE and CEP
On June 3 OPSEU front line workers
joined sister unions in making presentations to the commission.
Presentations and recommendations
to the commission addressed four key themes: 1) workload review; 2) impact of
the funding crisis; 3) administrative expectations; and 4) First Nations
communities. Members spoke about the challenges of implementing the
“Transformation Agenda” under the current funding formula. The rigidity of the
formula imposes restraints on service levels, administrative infrastructure, and
early intervention and prevention.
With respect to First Nations, the
Ministry has taken some initial welcome steps with the special appointment of
John Beaucage, Aboriginal advisor to the Minister, and an investment of $8.5
million in May. However, critical child protection challenges require immediate
increases to core funding for both Northern agencies and First Nations
communities to respond to the urgent needs of youth who continue to take their
lives in the North.
The commissioners conveyed that
there will be significant changes to come with respect to regulations governing
our work. Unions present stated that consultation with front line workers is
fundamental to this process and that regulations must address core workload and
To receive a quarterly Newsletter
from the commission, go to: http://www.sustainingchildwelfare.ca/news-and-events/newsletters/
CASe Notes . 3
Bargaining Conference “Local Leadership Day”
The fall bargaining conference will
take place the week of October 11, 2010. CUPE will be in attendance. This year
the Sector Executive has added a leadership component to the conference. Unit
presidents will be asked to bring a unit mobilizer. The leadership session will
focus on strategies to build member involvement and to develop and strengthen
Feedback results from our latest
campaign efforts indicated that units needed more time to plan events to get
their members involved. Unit presidents also reported feeling overburdened with
the sole responsibility for mobilizing members.
One of the goals of the “Local
Leadership Day” is to engage unit presidents and mobilizers to develop a
mobilizing network of members that can share in the leadership responsibility of
engaging the local in mobilizing campaigns.
Local 639, Jeanne Sauve Family
Unit members mobilized to avert a
strike and ratified a settlement in April 2010. Members mounted a bargaining
campaign during contract negotiations to fight further lay offs and program
closures. Members enlisted municipal support from the City Council and Mayor in
Kapuskasing and received wide media coverage in the North.
Local 739, Family and Children’s
Services of District Rainy River
Members rally around each other as
they prepare to undergo a merger with Kenora River later this year.
Please remember to mail in your
dues ($50.00) to Jane Kaija, 376 Simmons Rd. RR #3, Chelmsford POM 1LO. Dues
help support Sector expenses and also ensure that we have funds to continue to
fulfill our obligations to the Brian MacIntosh Fund.
A new draft of the by-laws will be
circulated to you in July. Please present at your next member AGM. Your unit
feedback is a crucial part of this process!
Order Your Pink T-Shirts:
Contact Jane Kaija to place an
National Pink Shirt Day,
February 25, 2011.
Next OACAS Meeting:
The next meeting will be held on
The June meeting was postponed due
to the G20.
CASe Notes is authorized
for distribution by
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
CASe Notes . 4
Fighting poverty connects us to service users
"Like slavery and apartheid,
poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by
the actions of human beings." Nelson Mandela
Child protection workers witness
the effects of poverty first hand everyday on the job. It is disheartening to
face preventable neglect of children knowing that if communities rallied against
poverty all children would have a better chance to succeed. We endorse the Make
Poverty History campaign and urge our members to become involved and informed in
this fundamental struggle for a better world. Go to the “Make Poverty History”
website for action updates on local and global struggles.
Poverty reduction in Ontario -Social Assistance
The Social Assistance Review
Advisory Council Report released its first report on June 14. The Council
promotes a new vision for income security that has a lot of potential to reduce
poverty in the long run but is weak on what it asks the Ontario government to do
now to help people on social assistance meet their basic daily living
necessities. The Review panel recommends a consultation and system overhaul
process that will take 12 to 18 months. In the meantime the Ontario government
has ignored the needs of the most vulnerable in the province. In its latest
budget the government cut the Special Diet Allowance, reneged on the dental
program for adult recipients, and reduced the woefully inadequate real income of
recipients by 1% in the latest budget.
For more information:
Poverty Watch Ontario,
Poverty Action for Change
Coalition in York,
Make Poverty History,
Workplace violence and workplace
harassment are now recognized in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Prepare policies to address
workplace violence and harassment, perform an assessment of the risks of
workplace violence to workers and report back to the Joint Health and Safety
Committee or Health and Safety representative
Develop and maintain a workplace
Provide information and instruction
to workers on workplace violence and harassment policies and programs
Both policies must be reviewed
annually and reassess the risks of violence to protect workers
For more information visit our