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Community Living staff – working to inspire possibilities – CUPE 4370 members stand up for developmental services

SARNIA, Ont. – Community Living Sarnia-Lambton employees, members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4370, are holding an information picket on May 14, 2012, as they urge the agency administration to join with the union to address provincial underfunding for services for people with a developmental disability and their families. 

We are inviting parents, families, community members and allies to join us in advocating for adequate funding for the services we provide to people with developmental disabilities,” said CUPE 4370 President Brian Biggers.

Community Living Sarnia-Lambton provides services to over 300 families, assisting people with developmental disabilities and their families to access the supports needed to live with dignity. CUPE 4370 is in a legal lockout/strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on May 19.

For years now, the province has asked agencies that support individuals with developmental disabilities to do more without an adequate funding investment in the sector. Provincial underfunding has resulted in long waitlists for supports and has also affected the consistency and quality of existing supports.

Most employees who deliver services at Community Living Sarnia-Lambton work part-time and are women. In spite of having dedicated their lives to supporting vulnerable members of the community, these workers would not be able to retire with dignity, having no pension and earnings often below the poverty level. Low compensation rates and an absence of retirement security impacts negatively on the ability of staff to provide consistent quality of supports to families, making it more difficult to retain skilled, experienced workers to deliver quality supports.  

CUPE 4370 members are committed to providing services to the people who rely on our supports, added Biggers. But chronic underfunding of the services, and the staff that deliver those services, presents challenges and puts services at risk. We are calling on the community to help us avoid a disruption to services and to join with us as we work to secure the funding needed to ensure consistent quality supports for the people and families we serve.”

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For more information, please contact:

Brian Biggers, President, CUPE 4370: (519) 333-7109
Brian Humphrey, CUPE National Representative: (519)-433-1753
Marjorie Savoie, CUPE Communications: (613) 864-9924