Disability policy office welcome but issues remain | National Union of Public and General Employees

Disability policy office welcome but issues remain

NAPE says home care and support services for persons with disabilities must be addressed in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Carol Furlong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE)St. John’s (8 June 2009) - The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) is commending the provincial government for introducing a Provincial Disability Policy Office.

However, NAPE president Carol Furlong is also calling on Susan Sullivan, the minister responsible for the status of persons with disabilities, to ensure adequate home care and support services for persons with disabilities.

"The inability to sustain a workforce of qualified home care and support workers is of significance to many persons with disabilities and to their families," Furlong says.

"Inconsistency in support workers due to staff turnover creates many problems and challenges for those who require assistance to deal with everything from severe medical problems to everyday living.”

Furlong says low wages and benefits offer no incentive to recruit or retain home care and support workers and this in turn causes problems for those who rely on such services.

"It is unacceptable that persons with disabilities find themselves the victims of a fluctuating workforce simply because of funding issues,” she notes.

"There has to be some stability for people who require support for a multitude and diversity of needs. The simple solution to addressing the problem is providing acceptable wages and benefits and respect for the work that home care and support workers offer. Minister Sullivan has a unique opportunity to step up to the plate to support efforts to provide a stable home care and support program for persons with disabilities. If this is about money, then the office is doomed before it starts. This is about respect, it is about dignity and it is about doing what is necessary to empower persons with disabilities.”

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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