TORONTO, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Contract negotiations at Community Living Quinte West (CLQW) have stalled after the employer refused to offer a fair contract.
"Ontario's developmental services are chronically underfunded," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "You can't keep cutting back on frontline staff if we want quality services in this province."
"Frontline workers have been cut to the bone," says Cathy Suijker, Bargaining Team Chair. "We keep working harder and harder to ensure quality services for the people we care for. But our employer seems more interested in hiring management than supporting frontline staff who actually do the work. We are leaving late, coming in early, always going the extra mile to help the people we support. How much longer are we supposed to do more with less?"
On any given day, there are eight frontline staff on duty. However, there are also eight managerial staff on duty at the same time. The expectation is that employees do more with fewer workers, as available funding gets channeled into expensive top-heavy management commitments.
"Our members took zero percent wage increases in 2010 and 2011," says Suijker, "without any lump sum payments. Now the employer is asking us to sacrifice a competitive wage increase again, so they can maintain a top-heavy management structure. Our last wage increase was in 2009. We are not being unreasonable. All we are asking is to be treated fairly."
There are 13 full-time employees at CLQW as well as six regular part-time staff and a number of casual workers.
CLQW workers work with adults who have developmental disabilities. They provide services at three residential settings and also run day programs, which serve large numbers of community members.
For further information:
Cathy Suijker, OPSEU Local 403 Steward and Bargaining Team Chair (c) 613-743-2423
Aimee Axler, OPSEU Staff Representative (c) 613-328-7818