President’s Message

CUPE Local 2190: President’s Report – November 30, 2016

“In Unity there is strength; We can move mountains when we’re United –Without Unity we are victims.
Stay United”
-Bill Bailey

Dear Sisters and Brothers:
It has been an honour to serve as the President of CUPE 2190, and I remain committed to enrich the working lives of all the members of this local. No matter what process I have represented you in, what is absolutely evident to me, is your compassion and dedication to the families, children and youth you serve. You deserve the utmost respect for your professionalism and commitment to keeping kids safe and working tirelessly to ensure their wellbeing.

I pledge to you, the membership, to be your voice and to advocate for you, to safeguard our collective agreement, to represent you on committees, at conventions, and at the bargaining table and in a range of processes including realignments, return to work, investigations, discipline meetings, and grievances/arbitration.

What a busy year! After meeting with you on January 21, 2016 to ratify proposals, we were able to bargain a renewed collective agreement and had it ratified on February 2nd, 2016. It was proofed, signed and printed even before our agreement expired. The renewed collective agreement (March 31, 2016-March 31, 2018) includes enhancements to benefits and compensation, improved language (including paid leave for those experiencing domestic violence) and job security.

This year we were successful in the organizing drive of our administrative and maintenance staff. I welcome our new members, and thank those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and congratulate us all for this momentous achievement. We can now move forward on bargaining a contract to secure equity, fair treatment and economic security to all workers at the CCAS of Toronto.

I was honoured to be elected again to CUPE Ontario’s Social Service Coordinating Committee and to continue to represent CAS workers in the province of Ontario. This year has been particularly demanding in confronting issues including CPIN, mergers and amalgamations, shared services, OACAS’s push towards mandatory registration with the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, KPMG’s Adoption Enhancement Review and new investigative powers of the office of the Provincial Child Advocate.

I continue to represent you as co-chair of our corporate health and safety committee and all CAS workers in the province on the joint Union/Employer Worker Safety Sub-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 continued into phase II to tackle the identified 12 critical/priority recommendations of the 46 recommendations made. See the Executive Committee Report for further information.

Health and Safety continues to be identified as a priority to the Society’s service planning and our language that was agreed to in our current collective agreement makes this commitment legally binding.

All of the benefits we gain from membership in our Union are priceless: representatives in the workplace, a safe and healthy work environment, a grievance process and a collective voice to bargain over working conditions. Never take for granted what we and those before us have fought and died for.

Unions are a fundamental element in a free and democratic society and play a critical role in the workplace and the community, both locally and globally. Union’s demand better economic, social and environmental policies through political action and through coalitions with others. Even those who have never belonged to a Union have benefited from their existence.

I ask that we continue to extend our solidarity to our brothers and sisters at CUPE local 4914, representing the workers at the Peel CAS on strike for 11 weeks. This is a truly remarkable group who have demonstrated unwavering strength and determination in the midst of a bitter strike with an unreasonable employer, at times a less than sympathetic community including the opportunist’s who cross their picket line prolonging their strike. Scabbing means getting ahead for yourself while undermining everyone else!

Union solidarity is recognized as a fundamental attribute of organized labour. Your participation and solidarity secures our collective strength. I value the involvement and commitment from those of you who have taken the time to attend meetings, training and other union related events. I sincerely appreciate the courage of members who take a stand, and the contribution of members who serve on our executive board, as officers, delegates and committee members. In working together and supporting each other, we build a stronger, healthier workplace.

-Together we are Stronger-

In Solidarity,
Nancy Simone, President CUPE Local 2190