Windsor Programs and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families in Windsor are woefully underfunded, and clients and front line workers are paying the price, say Windsor area community living counsellors.
The Canadian Union of Public of Employees (CUPE), which represents community living workers at several Windsor 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 community living agencies across Ontario 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 Windsor-Essex front line workers at a Windsor media conference on Wednesday, 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, 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.
Ryan points out that Windsor is Sandra Pupatellos the minister of Community and Social Services home riding, and while she was in opposition, she presented petitions to the then Conservative government from the people of Windsor asking for increased funding for community living agencies. But now as minister, she is underfunding, and letting those in Windsor with developmental disabilities, their families, and the dedicated front line community living workers, down.
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
Linda Boughner, President, CUPE 2345 Community Living Windsor
Suanne Hawkins, President, CUPE 3137 Community Living Essex County
Laura Moore, CUPE National Representative
Media Conference: Impact of provincial underfunding for Windsor-Essex services for people with developmental disabilities
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 11:00 a.m.
CUPE Hall, 1576 Parent Avenue, Windsor
For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario - (416) 209-0066
Laura Moore, CUPE National Representative - (519) 977-4837
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications - (416) 578-8874