(Toronto) September 21, 2011 - Two weeks before the Ontario elections,
OPSEU Developmental Services workers are taking
their message to the doorstep of Madeleine Meilleur,
Minister of Community and Social Services.
What: Developmental Services
When: Friday, September 23, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Minister Meilleur's campaign office 355 Montreal Road, Ottawa
Developmental Services are drastically under
funded, with waitlists prohibiting access to core
services for thousands of Ontario's most vulnerable
citizens. People with disabilities often only
receive services once they reach a point of crisis.
Adequate funding and access for quality
developmental services have been key issues in
discussions with the Ministry and employers.
"The potential for widespread labour unrest in
this sector is very real. It is also regrettable
considering employers have had ample opportunity to
achieve settlements," said OPSEU President Warren
"With discussion tables falling apart, we are now
completely dependent on what happens at individual
tables," said Thomas. "Two of our units are heading
for a potential strike on Saturday. Five others have
also taken strike votes."
Three hundred workers in Thunder Bay could be on
strike as soon as Saturday, September 24. To date,
41 OPSEU units have filed for conciliation, and
seven have taken strike votes.
OPSEU met with a mediator and representatives of
employer groups in an effort to get back to
Developmental Services Provincial Discussion Tables
(DSPDTs) on September 15. The employer groups
cancelled the DSPDTs at the last minute without any
explanation or warning.
"We believe a settlement could have been reached
if a union-specific settlement was negotiated," said
Thomas. "It now looks like the only choice will be
to go to conciliation with the Ministry. We entered
negotiations in good faith, and are deeply
disappointed in this employer." Employer groups are
mandated to conduct negotiations that include both
non-union and union employees. By linking unionized
employees to the terms of Bill 16, applicable only
to non-union workers, all workers would have become
subject to an unacceptable two-year wage-freeze.
Ontario's developmental services workers provide
support such as residential care, counseling and
case management to people with developmental
For more information:
Developmental Services Divisional Executive Chair: 289-260-5915
Cell. : 647-557-7936
Office : 1-800-268-7376
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