Tamir, an Ottawa agency that provides integrated living in a Jewish environment for people with developmental disabilities, is jeopardizing services for its participants by refusing to adhere to Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services directives for creating stable and secure conditions for frontline workers.
To date, Tamir has received nearly $450,000 from the province – money that was earmarked by the government to improve services for supported individuals by allowing agencies to tackle low wages and precarious work issues for the frontline workers.
This funding is intended to support government efforts to create a more stable sector and promote continuity of care for those that rely on the services delivered by frontline workers.
In line with the government’s objectives, developmental service workers at Tamir are seeking to strengthen the services they provide by ensuring that the $450,000 reserved for wage enhancements improves overall wage rates and makes it possible for staff to join a pension plan.
These two improvements alone have the potential to reduce staff turnover, increase continuity of care, and improve Tamir’s ability to recruit and retain qualified staff. But Tamir continues to resist directing the money to support these goals.
Workers continue to meet Tamir with the help of a province-appointed mediator, as the parties try to reach a consensus about how the $450,000 is to be paid out. The next mediation date is Wednesday, September 2, and efforts to reach an agreement will no doubt intensify before a strike or lockout deadline hits at one minute after midnight on Sunday, September 6.
“Tamir’s frontline workers want to offer the best possible services to people with developmental disabilities. The government has provided a blueprint and the funding to ensure that happens,” said Dan Pike of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union that represents workers at Tamir.
“Now it is up to Tamir to distribute the money the way the government intended. That is the only way that workers at Tamir will be able to provide the same quality of care delivered in other developmental services agencies in Ottawa,” concluded Pike.
For more information, please contact:
CUPE National Representative
CUPE Communications Representative