PICKERING, Ont. — Workers and supported individuals from Community Living Ajax Pickering & Whitby delivered a special Valentine today to MPP Wayne Arthurs as part of their campaign for increased and secure supports for persons with a developmental disability.
“We’re asking Mr. Arthurs – and the provincial government – to have a heart,” said Karen Anderson, president of CUPE 2936. “We want them to help ensure that individuals can get the consistent, quality supports they need. Years of underfunding have made that increasingly difficult.”
Since the mid-1990s, community living agencies have struggled with an initial 5% base budget cut followed by years with no increases. There were minimal base budget increases in 2004-05 and 2005-06, including some agency revitalization funding, but this did not even keep up with the pace of inflation.
A study conducted six years ago by KPMG on behalf of community living agencies showed that workers in developmental services earn 25% to 30% less than people doing similar work in hospitals, schools and other institutions. Recruiting and keeping developmental services workers has become increasingly difficult and some community colleges have even considered closing support worker diploma programs because of low enrolment.
“It’s time for increased and secure supports for persons who have a developmental disability,” said Karen Anderson. “We need adequate, multi-year funding to provide consistent and quality supports, to meet increasing demands and to recruit and retain staff.
“We’re asking MPP Wayne Arthurs to remember, when it comes to deciding on the next provincial budget, we count too!”
Community living supporters across the province have joined forces with a postcard campaign aimed at Premier Dalton McGuinty and his cabinet. Information and the postcard can be found at www.wecounttoo.ca.
For more information, contact: Karen Anderson, President, CUPE 2936, 705-277-2075; Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, cell 416-616-6142