It has been nine weeks since the strike began and we are disappointed that we have not been able to reach an agreement with the union's bargaining committee. It is our goal to reach a settlement that is fair and respects the important job that staff do, however, the agreement must also enable us to operate the agency within a fixed funding envelope. This not an easy task.
We have written a letter to all staff to let with our October 24 Offer of Settlement provided to the union’s bargaining unit. This letter was mailed out on November 10, 2016.
Savings from the ongoing strike at Peel CAS are one time savings. This means that these savings cannot be used to compensate for ongoing costs such as salary and benefit increases or additional staff. Any funding not used in this fiscal year will be recovered by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Peel CAS has a structural deficit. A structural deficit means that our funding is lower than what we need to annually operate the agency by approximately $1 million. The money saved from management positions that are temporarily vacant is applied to reducing Peel CAS’s current deficit.
When a new funding model was introduced in 2013, a balanced budget fund was established to allow agencies that ended the fiscal year with a surplus the ability to access those dollars in future years (3 years maximum) to eliminate deficits. Peel CAS ended fiscal years 2013/14 and 2014/15 with surpluses mostly due to our efforts to keep children safe at home and placing children in family based environments.
The reason that Peel CAS’s structural deficit has not made a big impact yet is that our deficits have been covered by the balanced budget fund.
The balanced budget fund is also earmarked to cover costs for the implementation of CPIN as the Ministry of Children and Youth Services does not provided all of the needed funding for this project.
Without any changes to our funding formula, our balanced budget fund is expected to be depleted by end of the fiscal year, March 31, 2018.