Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

March 06, 2007 11:11 ET

OPSEU: TV Ads to Spotlight the Under-Funding of Support for People With Developmental Disabilities

QUEEN'S PARK, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 6, 2007) - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has launched a TV and radio advertising campaign highlighting the crisis in services for people with developmental disabilities.

More than a decade of cuts and under-funding has left agencies unable to provide the level of care they once could. At the same time, more than 6,000 people are on waiting lists for services, and 1,600 more are kept in wards of long-term care facilities without the specialized services they need.

"To many of us, people with developmental disabilities are invisible," said OPSEU President Leah Casselman. "As a result, the Ontario government has been able to get away with under-funding critical support services. This ad campaign is aimed at changing that."

"Having a developmental disability doesn't limit someone from living a fulfilling life," added Sue Walker, a Developmental Services Worker and chair of the OPSEU Developmental Services Sector. "We work with people with a range of disabilities and help them to fulfill their potential."

According to the agencies providing supports, one of the biggest problems is an inability to pay competitive wages, said Casselman. "Developmental service workers earn 25 to 30 per cent less than employees in comparable jobs. That's why these agencies can't attract and retain enough qualified staff to provide the level of support people with developmental disabilities need."

A report prepared by Community Living Ontario, OASIS and other developmental service organizations said the government needs to invest $253 million in new ongoing funding to begin to address the service crisis.

"Clearly, as our ads say, Ontario can do better," said Casselman. "If you knew the people our members support, you'd know they deserve better."

The ads will run for the next three weeks in London, Hamilton, Northern Ontario and the Peterborough area. The ad can be viewed at www.ontariocandobetter.ca.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Sarah Jordison
    (416) 453-8049