The members of CUPE Local 5105 are facing an urgent situation and need your help. On August 12, Hamilton City Council voted to stop funding for child care for children with special needs from St. Matthew’s House. The loss of the funding – which funds the jobs of 40 CUPE members – will deal a devastating blow to the agency and will almost certainly lead to its closure. St. Matthew’s executive director has said himself that the loss of the funding will “bankrupt” the agency.
We are asking CUPE members in Hamilton-area social service agencies to call their councillors and ask them to restore funding from the city’s Special Needs Resourcing Services to St. Matthew’s Early Childhood Integration Support Services. You can use the sample text below to e-mail or call your councillor – please support your fellow CUPE members in Local 5105!
Sample script or e-mail for calling councillors; see the attached flyer to the contact details for your councillor:
Hi, (Councillor Name – office)
My name is ______________________ and I’m calling to voice my concerns about City Council’s decision to remove the funding for services for special-needs children from St. Mathews House.
I’m concerned that this loss of funding will lead to the closure of St. Matthew’s House.
St. Matthew’s House is a multi-service agency working in Hamilton’s poorest neighbourhoods. It provides not only programs for children with special needs, but also a summer camp program, emergency food program, transitional and sustainable housing for seniors and mental health and street outreach services.
Removing the funding for special-needs child care services will make all of the work St. Matthew’s does no longer financially viable. 60 % of St. Matthew’s staff will lose their jobs and residents who depend on St. Matthew’s will lose their support.
I don’t believe Hamilton city council meant to put St. Matthew’s existence at risk but that’s what will happen unless council reverses its decision and restores the funding for services for children with special needs. It is this “anchor” funding that allows St. Matthew’s to provide the other services that are so crucial to our most vulnerable residents.
I’m asking you to please reverse this decision. Thank you.