Thunder Bay developmental services strike votes are a call for promised funding | National Union of Public and General Employees

Thunder Bay developmental services strike votes are a call for promised funding

“The Ontario government promised to fix the crisis in developmental services, and now is the time for them to make good on their promise." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.

Thunder Bay (01 Oct. 2014) — More than 500 Thunder Bay developmental services workers have given their employers and the province a strong message that it’s time to fix the crisis.

Developmental services workers in Thunder Bay give strong strike vote to support their bargaining priorities

Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) who are employed by Avenue II Community Program Services voted 100% in favour of a strike this week. OPSEU Local 740 members employed by Community Living Thunder Bay voted 99.7% in favour of a strike, showing strong support for their bargaining teams.

“The Ontario government promised to fix the crisis in developmental services, and now is the time for them to make good on their promise. Thunder Bay residents deserve access to quality services in their community, and the front-line workers have said loud and clear that they will do what it takes to make sure that happens,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.

The Ontario Liberal budget promised $810 million to help the crisis in developmental services but little change has happened

The 2014 Ontario budget promised $810 million to ease the crisis in developmental services, and another $200 million to improve wages of the front-line staff, who are some of the lowest-paid workers in Ontario.

“Developmental Services clients are our family. We really feel that if we don’t stand up for them, no one will,” said Patti Markland, OPSEU Developmental Services Sector Chair. “As front-line workers, we often feel like the province doesn’t notice that so many families are at the end of their tether trying to get access to the services their loved ones depend on. These people can’t wait any longer. And now Ontario has a chance to make this right.”

The two Thunder Bay agencies are forerunners for bargaining with more than 50 OPSEU/NUPGE developmental services locals negotiating this year.

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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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