Developmental services need the $200 million now: CUPE

    TORONTO, March 23 /CNW Telbec/ - 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 further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, (416)
209-0066; Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, (416) 616-642

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