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TORONTO - Most of the $200 million announced in yesterday’s provincial budget for developmental services should be distributed right away in order to ensure consistent supports for individuals and families, says the union representing about 7,000 workers in the sector.

“We know the provincial government has seen the studies that identify a huge shortfall in compensation for developmental services workers,” said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario. “Low wages mean many support wor­kers hold multiple jobs to make ends meet until they find higher paid work elsewhere - cre­ating unacceptable staff turnover that jeop­ardizes the crucial, con­sistent support indi­viduals and their families get from staff who under­stand their goals, out­comes and needs.”

That message was delivered to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Greg Sorbara in thousands of postcards, emails, phone calls from and meetings with workers, their employers, supported individuals and their families in the period leading up to the budget.

“I am proud of the work CUPE members did to bring all those different interests together in one common cause,” Ryan said. “We hope to see that co-operation carry through to the bargaining table.”

CUPE has 46 bargaining units at the table in the community living sector this year. Those members will be expecting a significant change from seeing no wages increases or increases that did not cover the cost of living, which they have experienced for more than a decade, he said.


For more information, contact: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-642