Community Living Quinte West workers call for better funding of services
June 13, 2012
Contract negotiations at Community Living Quinte West (CLQW)
have stalled after the employer refused to offer a fair contract.
"Ontario's developmental services are chronically underfunded," said OPSEU
President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "You can't keep cutting back on frontline
staff if we want quality services in this province."
"Frontline workers have been cut to the bone," says Cathy Suijker, Bargaining
Team Chair. "We keep working harder and harder to ensure quality services for
the people we care for. But our employer seems more interested in hiring
management than supporting frontline staff who actually do the work. We are
leaving late, coming in early, always going the extra mile to help the people we
support. How much longer are we supposed to do more with less?"
On any given day, there are eight frontline staff on duty. However, there are
also eight managerial staff on duty at the same time. The expectation is that
employees do more with fewer workers, as available funding gets channeled into
expensive top-heavy management commitments.
"Our members took zero percent wage increases in 2010 and 2011," says Suijker,
"without any lump sum payments. Now the employer is asking us to sacrifice a
competitive wage increase again, so they can maintain a top-heavy management
structure. Our last wage increase was in 2009. We are not being unreasonable.
All we are asking is to be treated fairly."
There are 13 full-time employees at CLQW as well as six regular part-time staff
and a number of casual workers.
CLQW workers work with adults who have developmental disabilities. They provide
services at three residential settings and also run day programs, which serve
large numbers of community members.
For more information:
Cathy Suijker, OPSEU Local 403 Steward and Bargaining Team Chair (c)
Aimee Axler, OPSEU Staff Representative (c) 613-328-781