TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 1, 2015) - Emergency After Hours Staff (EAHS) for the Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CAST), have overwhelmingly rejected a so-called 'final offer' presented by their employer.

As a result, a month-long strike by members of Local 2316.1 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2316.1) will continue to keep at-risk youth and their families from getting the supports they need, when they need them.

"We warned CAST that bringing this 'final offer' to the membership would be unsuccessful," said Aubrey Gonsalves, President of CUPE 2316.

"The rejection was not quite - but almost - unanimous. Clearly, this employer did not understand how strongly members felt about issues they had identified as priorities. Hopefully, CAST now understands the importance members place on the issues they want resolved in bargaining," he added.

Last night's vote followed a marathon bargaining session between CAST and CUPE 2316.1 that took place last Friday. Early Saturday morning, while progress had been made, it was clear CAST would not move from their last offer, the union decided to present the offer to members for a ratification vote.

Outstanding issues include efforts to achieve parity with their colleagues at the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto, who perform identical work, but have vastly superior wages and working conditions, workloads, scheduling and the contract's duration.

"Our members are highly-skilled professionals who ensure at-risk youth and their families have the supports they need, around the clock. This is challenging, sometimes dangerous work that requires a high degree of skill and training," said Gonsalves, who reiterated CUPE 2316.1's position that both sides need to quickly resume bargaining.

"If the two sides come to the table ready to roll up their sleeves and finish the job of negotiating a fair agreement that protects the vital services at-risk youth need and deserve, I'm confident we could quickly come to an agreement," he said.

Contact Information:

Aubrey Gonsalves
CUPE 2316 President
416-463-5967 Ext. 3

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications