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Support workers pledge to continue to advocate for better funding

Now that front line staff at Community Living Guelph Wellington (CLGW), represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have ratified a new contract settlement with their employer, they will be doubling their efforts to push the provincial government to better fund services for people with a developmental disability and their families.

Our goal continues to be to restore the 90 direct support hours cut by CLGW and to expand our fair funding campaign in communities across Ontario so no more services are cut and families get the supports they need,” says Joanne Smithers,  president of CUPE local 4392.

Smithers stressed that the $42 million the Liberal government has allotted for developmental services is not enough to maintain services and take families off waitlists for residential supports, day supports and respite care. “Sadly, recent stories like that of the Ottawa mother who left her son at a provincial Developmental Services Office earlier this month will only continue to occur if the Liberal government does not increase residential supports delivered through the network of non-profit community-based agencies in Ontario” says Smithers.

Currently, there are 23,000 families province wide and 400 families in the Guelph area waiting for services. CUPE represents over 8,000 direct support staff at community living agencies across the province. Recently sector leaders met to develop a strategy to advocate for increased provincial funding for community agencies that provide services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.

Smithers says she is hopeful that, with a new collective agreement in place, the CLGW administration will join CUPE and front-line staff in advocating for improved sector funding. “It is clear to us that we need to work cooperatively alongside families receiving supports to protect community living services and to push the Ontario Liberal government to fund the sector adequately, or we will see further cuts to supports across the province.”

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Smithers
President, CUPE Local 4392
(519) 820-5945

Sarah Declerck
CUPE Social Services Coordinator
(416) 830-9537

Barry Blake
CUPE Communications
(613) 852-3279