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TORONTO– Developmental service workers across Ontario are in mourning today because the McGuinty government has broken its promise to improve the ability of community living agencies to recruit qualified staff, reduce waiting lists and do long-term planning.

Our members are disappointed, angry and ready to organize,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “In 2007, the Ontario government made a multi-year commitment to improve funding for services and supports needed by some of our most vulnerable citizens. This year, they have broken that promise.”

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has informed agencies that they will not receive the two per cent increase to base budgets promised for this year. As a result, Community Living Ontario cancelled its annual Day at the Legislature, planned for today, and declared a day of mourning instead.

Two per cent for developmental services is a small sum of money in the grand scheme of things,” said Hahn. “But it could mean everything to the 12,000 people on waiting lists for residential supports, the 7,000 people waiting for other supports and the 1,500 parents – 80 per cent of them older than 70 – providing primary care to their adult children with a developmental disability.”

CUPE members working in developmental services have launched a petition campaign calling on the McGuinty government to keep its promise to persons with a developmental disability. It is available through a Facebook group, Keep Your Promise to Persons with a Developmental Disability or on the CUPE Ontario web site, cupe.on.ca.

The province announced its multi-year promise with great fanfare in 2007, promising that it would make sure that individuals and their families would get the supports they need, that agencies would be able to plan for the long-term and that workers would get paid a fair wage,” Hahn said. “In 2010, the government wants to kill that promise. We’re going to work with communities, parents and people with disabilities to see that the government keeps its promise.”

For more information, contact:

Fred Hahn
President, CUPE Ontario

Pat Daley
CUPE Communications