MEDIA ADVISORY - Elgin block walk raises developmental services funding alarm

ELGIN, ON, April 20 /CNW/ - OPSEU developmental service workers at Community Living Elgin are holding an information "Block Walk" on Thursday, April 21. The walk highlights the need for immediate funding to avoid long-term service cuts and increased waitlists.

Date:   Thursday, April 21
Time:   10:00 a.m.
Location:   Elgin City Hall

This is one of 12 "Block Walks" being held outside of workplaces across Ontario from April 15 to April 22.

This past year the Ministry of Labour undertook an initiative to facilitate discussions between the Ministry of Community and Social Services (COMSOC), employers and unions to stabilize and strengthen this vital sector. Unfortunately talks broke off in March due to lack of sustainable funding.

The provincial waitlist for residential supports has risen to more than 12,000. There are currently 16,000 people with a developmental disability who receive residential supports across Ontario.

"This province must ensure that all developmentally delayed people in our communities receive the quality services they deserve," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "These are particularly vulnerable people who depend on the experienced and qualified staff in the Developmental Services Sector."

The unions and employers have some real concerns that COMSOC's current funding mandate is unrealistic in maintaining the current level of service the sector delivers.

OPSEU has launched a new campaign website, http://www.developmentalservices.org which features the "block walks" and also includes a letter-writing campaign. OPSEU members and their allies are sending letters demanding funding for developmental services to Ministers Dwight Duncan and Madeleine Meilleur.

There are more than 8,000 OPSEU members working in developmental services.


SOURCE OPSEU

For further information:

Steven Abdey (519) 494-8276


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