ELMIRA, ON, March 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Workers from OPSEU Local 253 at Elmira District Community Living have rejected the employer's final offer. 156 employees face a strike deadline of March 12, 2012.
Workers are asking the community to come out and support them at an information picket on Thursday, March 8 at 4 p.m. as they call on the employer to return to the table before the strike deadline.
| Information picket
Thursday, March 8, 2012
118 Barnswallow Drive, Elmira
"Ontario's Developmental Services sector is in crisis," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "The Ministry of Community and Social Services needs to step up to the plate and provide reasonable funding for front line staff. Communities are depending on it."
The employer's final offer included only 16 cents in wage improvements over four years. "I don't see how the Ministry of Community and Social Services thought we could accept this offer." said Trudy Allen, President of OPSEU Local 253. "This proposed contract came as a real slap in the face to all of the workers."
Elmira's developmental services workers provide many vulnerable people in the community with crucial care. "We are dedicated to the people we serve in our community," said Trudy Allen, President of OPSEU Local 253. "We are proud of the work we do to make Elmira a better place. But we deserve to earn a livable wage. We are asking the employer to come back to the table with a deal that at least mirrors what other developmental services agencies have given their employees."
Developmental Services agencies across Ontario are struggling with insufficient funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Meanwhile, the majority of frontline workers receive low wages, most are women, and many are struggling to get by with part-time work. This means that they often have to work two or three different jobs to earn a livable income.
OPSEU Local 253 workers provide developmental services to adults and seniors with disabilities in both the community and residential settings.
For further information:
Trudy Allen, OPSEU local 253 President (519) 820-0693
Neil Fraser, Staff Representative (289) 260-3520