CUPE supports bid for increased funding

March 10, 2017   ·   0 Comments

As a frontline worker at Community Living Dufferin for 21 years and President of CUPE Local 3083 I wish to take the opportunity to clarify our write in campaign in support of increased funding for Community Living Dufferin and respond to Minister Jaczek’s comments.

In 2014/15 the Government injected $810 million into the developmental services sector.  Out of those funds $120 million was directed by the Ministry to provide wage increases for staff for the period 2014-2016.  However, there has been no increase in funds since 2009 for the operation of the group homes, day programs and administrative offices.  The remaining $690 million has been designated to provide passport monies to families that require support at home and/or are supported persons on the wait list for residential services.

Community Livings are also carrying unfunded liabilities due to pay equity legislative obligations and this includes Dufferin.  Although in September of 2016 Premier Wynne admitted that the government had frozen funding to all public services, the Premier announced that funds would no longer be withheld.  Community Living Dufferin participated in a Ministry audit and we were advised that the auditors found that “there was no fat” and no further cost containment options were identified.

If it is true that Community Living Dufferin has received funding to cover basic needs such as increases in property taxes, utilities, (especially hydro), insurance,  home maintenance, vehicle maintenance, then why have most of the frontline workers had their hours cut by a half-hour every day and the SIL (supported independent living program) workers must take a day per month without pay as well as the management staff?

Food budgets have been reduced and Community Living Dufferin had to re-mortgage the administrative offices and are forced to fund raise in the community in order to purchase a van to transport supported persons.   These items are basic needs that the our government should be funding in order to ensure care of supported persons in care of agencies.

Most of our supported persons living in group homes do not have any family and we are their family and it is very hard to see how the reductions in services have affected  our ability to provide the level of care, love and support that a developmentally disabled person deserves.

I have attached a letter from OASIS which is the provincial body  representing community living’s and it clearly outlines that operating funds to the base budget have not been supplied.  Come April 1st 2017, Community Living Dufferin will have a new unfunded liability for Pay Equity, does this mean more cuts to staff? More cuts means less time for the people we support and that is not right!

CUPE Local 3083 Dufferin and Local 4392 Guelph-Wellington will be continuing their write-in campaign in an effort to garner attention from our provincial government to address the community living crisis.   I hope Orangeville will continue to support our campaign to bring attention to a very important need in our community.

 Rachelle Heeremans


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