BRAMPTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 3, 2016) - Put worker and child safety first and get our workers back on the job, is the message supporters want to drive home at a rally to be held outside the Peel Family Services Building on Wednesday. The 435 members of CUPE 4914 have now been on strike for 45 days with no end in sight.

"These workers are the frontline in child protection. The work they do can make a significant difference in a child's life," says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. "Overflowing caseloads mean workers are not able to provide the necessary level of attention to each case and that puts kids at risk. The Peel Children's Aid Society needs to take this seriously."

Unrealistic case loads and workers' safety are at the heart of the strike by Children's Aid workers in Peel. Caseloads in neighbouring Toronto have been capped to address similar concerns while the Executive Director in Peel refuses to consider even a more modest cap for the Region.

"Working in child protection can be a dangerous job. Workers are not usually meeting families under the best of circumstances," say Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, Chair of CUPE Ontario's Social Service Sector. "Workers for Peel Children's Aid Society are assaulted and threatened on a daily basis and their employer needs to acknowledge the risk their employees face and begin steps to better protect them."

"Worker safety cannot be separated from child safety," says Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer for CUPE Ontario. "Nobody goes on strike lightly. Giving up your income for more than a month only happens if the issues are serious. Given what these brave workers face on a daily basis it's time for their employer to recognize this and take real steps to address the problems."

"We want to get back to work - we're worried about our kids. But things have gotten so bad that if we can't get our employer to fix things it won't just be our members who are suffering," says Sonia Yung, president of CUPE 4914.

WHO: Striking Children's Aid workers, community supporters, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario Social Services Sector Chair Carrie-Lynn Poole-Cotnam
WHAT: Peel rally to put worker and child safety first
WHEN: Thursday, November 3rd at 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Peel Family Services Building, 60 West Dr. Brampton, ON

CUPE is Ontario's community union, with more than 250,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

Contact Information:

Sarah Jordison
CUPE Communications