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York Services Resume
Families Take Cover
September 13, 2007 permalink
The strike against York Region Children's Aid is over. How many times have you heard of mom or dad refusing to take care of a child on account of a strike?
CAS strikers ratify deal
Sep 12, 2007 03:52 PM
By: Joan Ransberry, Staff Writer
York Region Children's Aid Society's 180 child and family workers are expected to return to work tomorrow, ending a 17-day strike.
A tentative agreement between Ontario Public Service Employees Union - Local 304 and the agency was reached last night and union members ratified the agreement today.
Of 147 union members voting, 122 accepted the collective deal and 22 rejected it. Include in the agreement is a 7.5-per-cent raise over two years as well as fewer caseloads for front-line workers.
After contract talks collapsed Sept. 1, the union walked off the job, leaving about 1,000 open files, including 450 in-care children in the hands of about 35 non-union workers.
In a joint statement released yesterday, Local 404 union president Lisa Maynard and Children's Aid Society executive director Patrick Lake said they're both gratified they were able to resolve three areas of concern: workload, wages and milage.
"We look forward to a new era of working together in our shared goal of creating a positive work environment for staff and providing the highest quality care to the children and families of York Region, " Ms Maynard and Mr. Lake said.
Provincial union president Smokey Thomas kept a close eye on developments and visited the picket line in Newmarket. Workers set up lines at four society offices across the region.
"We look forward to an improved working relationship with the employer so that, together, the children and the families of the region will receive the best possible service," Mr. Thomas said.
"We are optimistic that with this new collective agreement, we will be able to achieve just that."
Statistics from the local Children's Aid for 2006 show 6,457 families were served, there are 950 open cases at any given time, between 200 and 400 cases were investigated each month and 130 foster homes were overseen by staff.
This was the first strike in the history of the local Children's Aid Society.