CUPE Local 2190: President’s Report for AGM– November 5, 2019
“Deep within every human being there still lives the anxiety over the possibility of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the millions and millions in this enormous household. A person keeps this anxiety at a distance by looking at the many round about who are related to him as kin and friends, but the anxiety is still there.” – Soren Kierkegard
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
CUPE 2190 is a Union that listens to its members, provides outstanding representation and negotiates strong contracts. Working conditions, benefits and wages as set forth by your Union represent years of progress, years of sacrifice and solidarity. Your membership in our Union ensures representatives in the workplace, a safe and healthy work environment, a grievance process and a collective voice to bargain over working conditions.
As President of this great Union, I remain absolutely committed to do whatever I can to protect your rights and to continue to give you a strong voice on issues affecting the workplace. It is my mission to improve the lives of our members through collective bargaining and enforcement of our contract and I pledge to continue to advocate for you, particularly now during this time of major change both at the CCAS of Toronto and in the child welfare sector.
Over the last year, we have faced challenges we expected, and others we have not yet imagined. Despite it all, your compassion for your clients and dedication for the families, children and youth you serve is unwavering. You deserve the utmost respect for your commitment to keeping kids safe and families healthy and for working tirelessly to ensure their wellbeing.
There are many challenges ahead of us as we move into one location and the provincial government moves on their commitment to “modernize child welfare”. If faith-based agencies are excluded from amalgamations, for sure amalgamations are inevitable. What will that mean for all of us as a sector? Will the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto remain “as is” or is change unescapable?
We will also be entering into contract negotiations and expect that it will again be a difficult climate to bargain in with a conservative provincial government looking to legislate limits to compensation increases. Though we have proved in the past that no matter what the bargaining climate, we negotiate strong contracts when our members back the bargaining team, still we can never take for granted what we and those before us have fought for.
I am honoured to be one of the elected CAS Provincial leaders on CUPE Ontario’s Social Service Coordinating Committee and continue to represent all CAS workers in the province of Ontario. This year continues to be demanding as the Child Welfare sector continues to face challenges and uncertainty as we have long recognized the growing indications from the current and previous government that amalgamations are a distinct and increasingly likely possibility. We continue to confront issues including worker safety, CPIN, Worker Authorization, amalgamations, shared services, mandatory registration with the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers through campaigns and political action.
I continue to represent you and all CAS workers in the province on the joint Union/Employer Provincial Worker Safety Committee responsible for the project and the release of the comprehensive report titled: CAS Workers at Risk: A Current Assessment of Worker Safety, Client Violence and Child Protection in Ontario Children’s Aid Societies-A System Under Pressure. The work of the committee continues as a steering committee to monitor the outcome of the project and its 46 recommendations. Health and Safety continues to be identified as a priority to the CCAS’s service planning and our language in our current collective agreement makes this commitment legally binding.
I truly value your involvement, your loyalty and commitment. I welcome and encourage member involvement in attending meetings, training and union events and for bringing issues forward. I sincerely appreciate our dedicated members who serve on our executive board, as officers, delegates and committee members.
Our Union is strong because our members are strong. As a CUPE 2190 member, you have a voice at work and the power to shape your future. Your participation and support is the key to our collective strength.
Let’s make Catholic Children’s Aid Society great again!
Nancy Simone, President CUPE Local 2190