Workers say they will join forces in fighting legal aid funding cuts
The Society of United Professionals has announced that employees of Aboriginal Legal Services have joined the union in Ontario.
According to a statement by SUP, the employees of ALS work on the frontlines, navigating the justice system to protect the interests of Indigenous people and their rights. ALS has grown significantly over the years due to the demand for Gladue reports, the society said.
“We're very pleased to welcome the employees of Aboriginal Legal Services into our union,” said Scott Travers, president of the Society of United Professionals. “The Ford government's funding cuts have caused undue stress to Ontario's legal aid system. We commend our newest members for organizing and resisting in this climate.”
In its announcement, the Society of United Professionals reiterated its call to reverse the cuts to legal aid. The union's leadership and members are working with allies and community groups to speak out and defend access to justice in Ontario, it said.
“ALS staff have been attempting to have concerns addressed for some time — we hope the introduction of the union will be an incentive to work together with management and our board of directors,” said Angie Assinewe, Gladue caseworker coordinator at ALS. “We care deeply about the work we do and see unionization as a way to strengthen the organization through meaningful employee involvement. Now we can problem solve collectively as union members.”