Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)



Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

July 18, 2013 12:32 ET

Provincial Liberals approve closure of TELCI agency for adults with developmental disabilities putting residents and front-line workers in limbo

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 18, 2013) - Workers and residents at the Therapeutic and Education Living Centres Inc. (TELCI), an Ottawa agency providing residential services for adults with developmental and visual disabilities, are shocked the Wynne government is not stepping in to stop staff layoffs that will leave residents without continuity of care by the end of the month and staff forced to compete for their own jobs with a new agency, said Joyce Nolan, CUPE Local 1521-03 Unit Chair.

"For eight months, family members, community allies and front-line staff have been fighting the July 31st closure," said Nolan. With thousands of families on waitlists to access services, and TELCI residents having lived together for decades, it is outrageous that the Liberal government is closing the agency. TELCI residents were promised continuity of care through the closure, including being allowed to remain in their current homes with their support workers, but as of today, there is nothing in place to make this a reality.

As of today's date, the new agencies that will be providing services remain unknown, leaving TELCI residents and their families to deal with uncertainty. TELCI workers, 40 women who are now facing layoff notices, are being told they will have to reapply for their own jobs under the auspices of a new service provider. In addition to the imminent crisis confronting TELCI staff, for the adult residents of Ottawa's TELCI, the closure means losing long-term trusting relationships established over many years.

"The Wynne government could easily fix this by making it a condition of their ongoing funding to the new agency that residents continue to be supported by the staff they know and trust after years of care," said Nolan.

"Residents at TELCI need 24/7 supports, which the government funds, and yet the Wynne Liberals shrug their shoulders and look the other way while 40 women support workers lose their jobs and are forced to compete with applicants off the street who do not have a relationship with the TELCI residents."

On July 31st, responsibility for supports for the residents will be assumed by an as-yet-unnamed agency. Residents will remain in the current TELCI residences, but their support workers will not be with them. Instead, the staff, members of CUPE 1521-03 will be unemployed and forced to reapply and compete for their own jobs. Coincidentally, August 1st is the date of a provincial by-election in Ottawa South where the Liberals hope to save what was Dalton McGuinty's seat in the Ontario Legislature.

Although worried and discouraged, TELCI workers say they are still hoping someone in Kathleen Wynne's government will step up and save not only their jobs, but the continuity of care residents deserve.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Local 1521-03
    Joyce Nolan
    Unit Chair
    613-858-3051

    CUPE Social Services Coordinator
    Sarah Declerck
    416-830-9537

    CUPE Communications
    Barry Blake
    613-852-3279