Hamilton Programs and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families in Hamilton are woefully underfunded, and clients and front line workers are paying the price, say Hamilton area community living counsellors.
The Canadian Union of Public of Employees (CUPE), which represents community living workers at several Hamilton area agencies that provide residential and vocational support for people with intellectual disabilities and their families, is urging the Ontario Liberal government to increase funding for the sector in this coming provincial budget.
In 2004, the Liberals only increased funding for community living agencies by .5 per cent. This underfunding has left many Hamilton agencies in deficit as they scramble to provide services to an increasing number of ageing clients needing a high level of care.
When it comes to providing adequate funding for services for people with developmental disabilities, the McGuinty Liberals record is even worse than the predecessor Tories. They should be ashamed, says Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of CUPE who will join Hamilton MPP, Andrea Horwath, and front line workers at a Hamilton media conference on Tuesday, March 22, focused on the impact of provincial underfunding on the community living sector.
An employer study found that community living workers are underpaid compared with other social service workers. This is resulting in a high staff turnover rate in the sector, and a lack of continuity of care for the intellectually disabled.
Adequate provincial funding would allow agencies to pay higher wages and provide better staff training in order to stem the high staff turnover rate in the sector and, ultimately, improve the quality of community-based services provided those with developmental disabilities and their families.
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
Hamilton MPP, Andrea Horwath (NDP)
Jim Beattie, President, CUPE 3943 Community Living Hamilton
Media Conference: Impact of provincial underfunding for services for people with developmental disabilities
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 10:30 a.m.
191 York Boulevard, Hamilton (outside Community Living Hamilton office York and Bay Streets)
For more information, please contact:
Jim Beattie, President, CUPE 3943 - (905) 512-4556
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications - (416) 578-8874