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OPSEU survey reveals ‘toxic’ and ‘racist’ conditions at York CAS

A survey by OPSEU Local 304 of staff at the York Region Children’s Aid Society reveals a “toxic” workplace where people routinely cry at their desks, where there is a “culture of hopelessness,” “racism” and the “best decisions to keep children safe are not being made,” according to a story in The Toronto Star.

“We need new leadership that cares, inspires and motivates our staff while ensuring that our workplace is free from harassment and toxicity,” said OPSEU Local 304 President Andrew Harrigan. “We kept hearing from our members that many were deteriorating emotionally and physically at an alarming level.”

On July 31, the provincial government launched a third-party review of York CAS in response to what it called “troubling allegations of racism, bullying and harassment.”

Harrigan said with the government review in place, he hopes the board will take the workplace survey findings seriously.

“The worst thing would be that nothing comes from the review,” he said.