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Thousands of frontline workers who work for Associations for Community Living across Ontario have begun a campaign aimed at securing fair wages for ACL workers.
ACL locals across the province have embarked on this important campaign in conjunction with CUPE Ontario and CUPE National. They will be using the results of a recent wage study conducted by the management consulting firm KPMG to bolster their arguments for a decent living wage for ACL workers.
Currently in Ontario, CUPE represents workers in some 34 ACLs, with a total membership of about 4,000.
The KPMG Compensation Survey, which was actually commissioned by employer groups and released last year, shows that wages in this sector fall at least 20% below the wages of comparable jobs in the market.
The study also shows that the low wages are directly related to the high turnover of staff and low morale among workers in the ACL sector.
Among the study’s findings:
  • Approximately 25% of the surveyed agencies experienced decreases in base salaries since 1993. In other words, workers’ wages have actually gone down.
  • Staff turnover rate is high at 14.13%. Low wages and lack of career advancement are cited as the main reasons for leaving.
  • Starting wage rates fall well below those in comparable organizations, in some cases as much as 25% lower.
  • Pensions and benefits are much lower than those of workers in comparable organizations.

An intense lobbying campaign will be directed at Ontario Community and Social Services Minister John Baird, key cabinet ministers.