Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

June 06, 2007 11:15 ET

Media Advisory: OPSEU Developmental Services Workers Strike Could Affect Much of Southwestern Ontario

LONDON, ONTARIO and CHATHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2007) - Developmental services workers across much of Southwestern Ontario could be on strike as early as June 22 if the government does not produce a promised and much-needed funding increase for four community living agencies.

Talks have broken off and conciliation has failed to produce a settlement at four agencies that support people with developmental disabilities: Community Living Chatham-Kent, Community Living London, the Elgin Association for Community Living (St. Thomas), and Middlesex Community Living (Strathroy).

More than 1,000 workers, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, work for wages 25-30 per cent lower than workers in comparable positions in health care, education, municipalities and other public services.

"The Liberal government can fix this by flowing the necessary funding," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "Only 20 million of the 200 million in new funding in the recent provincial budget has been allotted to wages this year."

"Our members are dedicated to the people they support, and to their work, so this is a difficult decision for them, but they have been working for too long for wages too low for the valuable work they do."

These workers, two-thirds of whom work part-time, support more than 1,350 people in the London region, in more than 100 worksites. "Hiring and retention problems are the norm in these agencies," said Gino Franche, regional vice-president. "Even the employers agree that wages must go up substantially but the government needs to flow the funding now, so they can pay these important workers what they are worth."

Contact Information

    Gino Franche
    Vice-President, Region 1
    1-800-268-7376 or cell (519) 359-9197