Front-line workers are asking politicians to commit to immediate sustainable long-term funding to end the shameful crisis in developmental services, funding that strengthens the not-for-profit community agencies that provide quality, professional, planned, and stable services.
Toronto (27 May 2014) — On May 27, front-line workers, including members of the Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), across the province are delivering the message that politicians cannot afford to ignore the crisis in developmental services.
Crisis in provinces' Developmental Services
The recent All-Party Select Committee on Developmental Services openly acknowledged the extent of this sector’s crisis in their March 2014 interim report. This committee has a mandate “to develop recommendations on a comprehensive developmental services strategy to address the needs of children, youth and adults in Ontario with an intellectual disability or who are dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental illness.”
The Ontario Ombudsman, André Marin, reported that we are failing Ontario families. The number of complaints regarding access to quality developmental services has skyrocketed to well over 800 in 2013–14.
Parents forced to take extreme action
Ontario reached a new low on May 20, 2014, with yet another parent taking the desperate action of threatening to abandon their adult child, this time at the office of the Ontario Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services, Marg Rappolt.
Politicians need to commit to sustainable long-term funding
The 10,000 OPSEU/NUPGE members who work in developmental services believe that the province can afford to care for the most vulnerable, because dignity should not be optional in Ontario.
The province has seen the growth of a wait-list for services exceeding 20,000 people, a devalued workforce that is two-thirds part-time, and workers that are often employed at rates just above the minimum wage, plus a chronic turnover rate.
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