Families Need Dilico to Step Up
THUNDER BAY – Investigative Opinion – The Dilico Strike has impacted families hard for the past month. Moms, Dads, and Grandparents and their children have been unable to visit unless a court order was in place.
The impact on parents has been huge. Some of the messages directly from some clients are not following the carefully planned messaging from Dilico out to the public. It is very likely that one of the impacts of the strike will be parents, and grandparents who have felt almost helpless in the past now realizing that speaking out is an option.
Dilico has stated all the clients were informed of the strike action. Growing numbers of parents have shared they had no such communication from the child care agency before the strike. Some received letters in the mail, others had to call Dilico to find out only when they were seeking visitation that the strike was preventing that from being possible.
Are the problems of the past being repeated?
Today is the fifth anniversary of the residential schools apology by Prime Minister Harper. In Thunder Bay a gathering was held and people shared what the impact of the residential schools was on them, and their families.
Families and lives were torn apart for generations. What many advocates are suggesting is that what is happening to many Aboriginal families isn’t being solved by the current model and methods being employed by Dilico. Some suggest the current model is similar to what happened in the past. Repeating the same process, no matter what the process is, or who is doing it makes little difference to the people most effected.
The Social Media Strike
An empowered client base willing to speak out isn’t likely what Dilico expected could result from the strike. Both Dilico management and CEP Union members and workers have now gone through their first ever strike, and done so in a new environment.
The social media revolution has changed how communications work. It appears neither side has figured out the power of the Internet in communications, and neither side has realized that in today’s world, communications is instant, and everyone can be a publisher.
It could be easy to simply blame the case-workers, quite often management finds fault with their workers, and the aftermath of a strike is a period of cooling off.
The Dilico workers on strike have had clients reading their Facebook updates. It has empowered clients to see their caseworkers directly for the social media comments they are making.
It is one of the pieces of the strike that should be teaching the importance that the Internet isn’t ‘Las Vegas’. What is done on Facebook doesn’t stay on Facebook.
Just as it is likely that pre-strike, Dilico caseworkers and managers have checked the social media site to see what their clients were posting, now the reverse is happening. Clients have reported seeing their caseworkers sharing how they were enjoying the summer off.
Dilico management has sought to control messaging, that has been the standard process in the past. However today, isn’t yesterday.
Learning from this strike, Dilico is likely to face far more visibility. It is very likely that will be a positive step forward.