CUPE Ontario’s Social Service Workers Coordinating Committee (SSWCC) defends and campaigns for high-quality, publicly funded social services across Ontario.
Our committee represents 30,000 workers in children’s aid societies, child care, community agencies, developmental services, municipal social services, child protection, children’s mental health, shelters and hostels, and at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Through SSWCC, CUPE works to protect public services relied on by Ontarians every day by fighting service cuts, driving policy reform and leading on advocacy and coalition work in all areas of our sector.
- SSWCC Spring 2021 Newsletter
- Click here to access COVID-19 resources for the Black community.
- Click here for COVID-19 information & updates.
- Emergency orders impacting social service workers as of April 16th
- Mental Health Services Fact Sheet
- Guide: COVID-19 Home and Community Care Providers and Social Services
Who We Are
CUPE members working in social service organizations and community-based agencies connect Ontarians to vital social services delivered locally.
We support children, young people, families and seniors by providing access to the programs and services they need close to home. We ensure they have the supports they need, when they need them, whether at home or in the community.
We have 2000 CUPE members working Ontario’s community agencies.
Working in Ontario’s children’s aid societies, our 3000 members care for families in crisis and ensure the safety of children and youth at risk from abuse and neglect.
Lobbying for high-quality and well funded child protection services is part of our advocacy on behalf of families, children and youth. We work to ensure excellence in child welfare by addressing issues that affect CAS stability and service: recruitment and retention, workload, staffing and support levels.
We are passionate advocates for the people we support. That’s why 8000 CUPE members in developmental services campaign tirelessly to end wait lists, fight service cuts, and ensure that all Ontarians with developmental disabilities have access to publicly delivered services and programs through community living agencies.
Because continuity of care is vital for supported individuals, we work to increase stability of our workforce through improved wages and working conditions for frontline staff.
Fighting for quality developmental services in Ontario
Developmental services has been a significant focal point in the past year between a Select Committee on Developmental Services, money in the budget for the sector, a Housing Task Force, coverage in the Auditor General’s Report and a continuing investigation by the Ontario Ombudsman into the sector. Read more about these developments below.
As child care workers and early childhood educators, we know the importance of our work to the development of young children and the ability of families to thrive and communities to prosper.
As activists for public child care, our actions embrace the drive for more greater funding for licensed, accessible child care; the battle against centre closures and privatization; the campaign for a universal child care; and the move toward better pay for child care workers and ECEs.
There are 5000 CUPE members working in Ontario’s child care centres.
CUPE represents approximately 2500 municipal social service workers. We support vulnerable Ontarians through the services that provide the basic social safety net for our citizens: family support, employment placement programs, Ontario’s drug benefit plan and social assistance. We campaign on behalf of ourselves and our clients as we tackle such workplace issues as technological change, increasing workload, and staffing cuts.
What We Do
Campaigns and Events
Since the introduction of the Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) at Ontario Works, CUPE members and leaders have been working hard to resolve the appalling pressures that the system has produced in our workplaces.
Latest developments in that fight include the creation of a ministry-led working group made up of frontline CUPE members; their primary goal will be to ensure that any changes to SAMS result in improvements for workers and social assistance recipients.
Child care regulation changes threaten program quality
While Ontario’s Liberal government touts its commitment to child care program quality, changes they intend to make to regulations will – say early childhood education experts – threaten program quality, considerably.
Parents, child care activists and CUPE Ontario are opposed to these regulatory changes, which unfortunately can be made without any real public hearings or the agreement of MPPs in the Ontario Legislature.
Throughout the pandemic, many parents have had to leave their jobs or significantly reduce their hours of work because of school and child care centre closures. COVID-19 has shown us all just how important accessible, quality early learning and child care is for families, our communities, and our entire country. Simply put, parents, the majority of whom are women, cannot fully participate in our economy without child care.
Watch the new video on our three big ideas on what’s needed to make universal child care a reality.
Ontario needs an early learning and child care system that:
- Is affordable for families, including a parent fee cap of $10 per day per family and options for lower-income families
- Provides decent work standards that respects educators, including a new salary scale starting at $25.00 per hour and adequate paid sick leave
- Halts the expansion of for-profit care and strengthen the not-for-profit sectors’ ability to scale up
In April 2021, the federal government announced a budget containing what advocates have been calling on for decades—a plan to make child care universally accessible and affordable for families across the country. This plan hinges on stabilizing and reducing parent fees, bringing fess down to an average of $10 per day over the next five years and cutting fees by half by the end of 2022. The plan also outlines a commitment to increase the number of child care spaces and acknowledges that the early learning and child care workforce is predominantly women who earn a median wage of about $19.20 per hour.
What’s next for universal child care in Canada?
Each province and territory is working with the Federal government to structure bilateral child care and early learning agreements that meet the unique needs of families in each region.
Learn more about what the Ontario government needs to do in order create a universal system of child care in the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) and Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO)’s Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario.
Every day, CUPE members work hard to make our communities stronger, healthier and more inclusive. Many of our members know there is a fine line between making ends meet – and seeing the ends start to fray.
Dalton McGuinty has kept social assistance rates low, causing poverty to rise to unprecedented levels. Since the days of the cuts by the Mike Harris government, people receiving assistance through Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program have seen their income levels drop by almost 60 percent.
Send us a message!
Send a message to the Social Service Workers Coordinating Committee – just fill in the form below and we will get back to you.