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Developmentally Speaking: March 4, 2010 newsletter for Developmental Services Sector members


Message from the Chair

Sue Walker, Chair , Developmental Services Executive

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I would like to extend a thank you to all the member”s who attended the Developmental Service Sector meeting on Nov. 8, 2009 and re-elected me as your Sector Chair. I would like to welcome the new members on the Sector Executive: 

Rhonda Gibson, Cheryl Wing, and Karen McKinnon. We welcome your contribution to the team.  Our 4th annual Developmental Service Worker Appreciation Day, was a great success. Numerous employers have signed the Joint Declaration, supporting the work we do.  A big thanks to our 7 mobilizers for coordinating participation.

Monday March 1, 2010 Wear Blue to Work to Launch Bargaining Mobilizing

Developmental Services Sector 2 Executive

Sector email: opseu.sector2ex@gmail.com

Chair , Sue Walker

L. 249 , Central West Specialized

Developmental Services Oakville

905 574-7445 / 289-260-5915 (cell)

Secretary /Treasurer, Scott Collins

L. 667, Community Living North Bay


Vice-Chair (2B), Silvana Cacciatore-Roy

L. 738, Avenue 11 Comm. Prog. Thunder Bay


Vice-Chair (2C), Ianthe (Violet) Stringer

L. 448, Pathways to Independence, Belleville


Vice-Chair (2A), Rhonda Gibson

L. 166, Middlesex Community Living


Communications Rep. Cheryl Wing

L. 249, Central West Specialized Developmental Services

Health & Safety Rep., Karen McKinnon

L. 358, Peterborough Community Living


Bargaining Rep. Francine Kelly

L. 676, Community Living Greater Sudbury


Bargaining Mobilizing 2010 

More Than a Job

Developmental services workers perform much more than a job. Assisting people with developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities and to live as independently as possible should be a valued career choice!

Developmental service workers are educated and trained and expected to remain in the field over the long term. And yet, working conditions are pushing workers away from making this a career choice. It doesn’t have to be this way.  Our sector needs to be part of a good jobs economy now more than ever.

Lobby Day: April 6-9 2010

Members across the province will be lobbying their local MPPs urging the government to improve working conditions across the sector.

Your regional mobilizers will assist the highest ranking in each unit to form lobby teams and make sure that identified MPPs are contacted.

Our Five Points:

  1. Recruitment and retention of qualified staff remains a serious issue.

  2. Employees can’t make a decent living in developmental services .

  3. Salary increases need to be part of the government Human Resources strategy.

  4.  Part-time work without benefits and no pension plan can’t go on.

  5. It doesn’t have to be this way! Our sector can be part of a good jobs economy.

Your Regional Mobilizers

Regional Mobilizers and Alternates at the BPS conference.

Region 1-Lisa Fewster

L. 166, Community Living London


Region 2-Elfie Chase

L. 249, Central West Specialized Developmental

Services echase1@blackberry.net

Region 3-Allan May

L. 332, Community Living Assoc. for South Simcoe


Region 4-Patti Markland

L.448, Community Living Prince Edward


Region 5-Karen Andrew

L. 5102, Surex Community Services


Region 6- Francine Kelly

L. 676, Community Living Greater Sudbury


Region 7- Judi Bedard

L. 740, Community Living Thunder Bay

For information contact: Your Regional Mobilizer or Luisa Quarta, Campaigns Officer (416) 443-8888 ext. 8628

4 th Annual Developmental Services Worker Appreciation Day January 20, 2010

Locals organized pizza lunches, dances, dinners and the circulation of gifts for members. highlights include: L. 667, Community Living North Bay received a letter of recognition from City Hall. In St. Thomas, L. 151 Community Living Elgin, obtained a Royal Proclamation from the city, proclaiming January 20, 2010 as “Developmental Services Worker Appreciation Day.” Central West Specialized Developmental Services L. 249, had their MPP, Kevin Flynn attend their event.

Thanks to the LECs and highest ranking across the province who organized events in their locals.  Thanks to the regional mobilizers for their outreach to their regional units: Lisa Fewster, Elfie Chase, Allan May, Patti Markland, Karen Andrew, Heather Gallo, and Judi Bedard.

Introducing your Sector Executive members

Fran Kelly, Sector bargaining representative

It’s 2010 and 44 sector 2 agencies are preparing to bargain. January 20th was our appreciation day marking the kick off to a very exciting time for this sector.  Many units had their employers sign off on the declaration; we are encouraging all units to have this document signed. This coalition with OASIS, union and employers will strengthen our sector and enhance the opportunity to achieve our agenda for coordinated bargaining.  The next phase is to continue to have a positive presence in our communities and lobby our MPP’s. In Solidarity, Fran.

Violet Stringer, Vice-Chair  2C

The Developmental Services Human Resources Strategy Steering Committee has launched the Core Competencies Pilot Project across Ontario. The pilot  is to ensure the necessary foundation for the provincial adoption of core competencies in agencies across Ontario.  Agencies involved in the pilot are asked to include a Direct Support representative. The local should have input into the selection of this rep. If your agency is involved, let your employer know that the Steering Committee encourages collaboration with the union leadership in the selection of this representative. In solidarity, Violet.

Karen McKinnon, Health and Safety Rep.

Hello, I am currently President of OPSEU Local 358.  I look forward to representing Sector 2 members. I have been the H &S rep. in my local for years and am taking a course at  the Workers Health and Safety Centre to “brush up” on the Act, to better serve both my local and my sector.  I welcome communication from all members across the province.  Have a “healthy” and “safe” spring everyone. In solidarity, Karen.

Rhonda Gibson, Vice-Chair for Sector 2A

Let me introduce myself. I am a mom of two young children, married and I live in a beautiful little town called Wyoming near Sarnia. I work at Middlesex Community Living. I am the co-chair of our EERC, a member of the negotiating committee and 1st Vice President of Local 166. I regularly attend OPSEU educationals, convention, and regionals. I am currently enrolled in an on line Labour Relations course through UWO . I am learning many things to help me out in all my union endeavours. I look forward to representing you on the Developmental Services Sector Committee. Please don”t hesitate to contact me. In Solidarity, Rhonda.

Silvana Cacciatore-Roy, Vice-Chair 2B

It is an honour and privilege again to be able to serve as one of your vice-chairs in the Developmental Service Sector.  With many units going into bargaining I welcome everyone in Sector 2B to please contact me.  Looking forward to hearing from you, Silvana.

Cheryl Wing, Communications Representative

I am honoured to join the Developmental Services Sector Executive. I have worked at Central West Specialized Developmental Services in Oakville since 2001.  I am proud to have been the region 2 mobilizer during the successful 2007 campaign which saw major gains for our sector.  I look forward to improving my knowledge of the labour movement while doing my best to represent you and ensure communications are utilized in the best way possible.  I urge the highest ranking officers of each local to forward their contact information to me.  I would also like to invite all members to submit articles for the developmental services newsletter.  Please feel free to contact me.  Thank- you, Cheryl.

Memo To DSS Locals: 2010 Dues are due

Thank-you to all the locals that have paid their dues for 2009. This is a friendly reminder to please submit your 2010 payment at your earliest convenience.

Dues Structure:

For locals that have less than 50 members, your dues are $50.00 for the year.  Dues for locals that have 100 or more members pay $100.00.

If paying these dues causes your local undue hardship, please let the executive know so your local may be considered for an exemption on your 2010 dues.

Please make your cheques payable to Developmental Services Sector and mail to:

Scott Collins 

407 Roy Street, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario P2B 3E6

Your attention to your 2010 dues payment is greatly appreciated!

Monday March 1, 2010

Wear Blue to Work Day

Show your solidarity 

Wear Blue to Work

to Launch

Bargaining Mobilizing


Social Assistance Review

On December 2, 2009, the government announced an advisory panel to provide recommendations to the Minister of Community and Social Services on how to proceed with a review of social assistance.  

We know that the majority of people with developmental disabilities that we assist, live below the poverty line on ODSP. They often can’t afford a vacation, a market rent apartment, quality food,  adequate recreational activities, and have limited choices in their life.

Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program  do not contribute to poverty reduction.  These programs need to be  radically changed to promote economic security and well being for people facing marginalization.  

Find out more about how to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities at: http://sareview.ca/

Staff Survey on Experience of Client Aggression

OPSEU has endorsed a work and well being study  being conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The project was reviewed by the Human Resource Committee of the Provincial Network and recognized by this group as  timely and relevant to the sector.This project was also brought to the attention of decision makers at MCSS, involved in the HR portfolio.

Sector 2 members were asked to complete the online survey. We look forward to receiving the results from

Dr. Carolyn Dewa. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LGH8KBJ


Temporary DS Tattoo Day

March 31, 2010

Collective agreements expire for 40 units on March 31.

Let’s Stand United!

Sport your DS Tattoo to Work

Joint Declaration

Fourth Annual Development Service Worker Appreciation Day

January 20, 2010, marks the Fourth Annual Developmental Service Worker Appreciation Day. Since first marking this day in 2007, unions and employers have come together to celebrate the contribution that developmental service workers make to the lives of individuals and their communities.

Developmental service workers expect that this recognition be reflected in a commitment to improving compensation and raising the profile of this vital work. The value placed on developmental service workers reflects the value that society places on supporting individuals who have an intellectual disability.

The government has initiated a process to develop a new HR strategy intended to address sector issues including the retention problem within this sector.

It is important that government, employers and unions come together to seek solutions that will improve services and support workers to stay in the field.  

We urge the government to recognize that additional educational and training opportunities will not have a significant impact unless workers are competitively compensated and supported to make developmental services a career choice.

Today we take the time to thank and recognize the difference that workers make in the lives of those with developmental disabilities.

You provide the bridge to social inclusion to people who you support across this province and we thank you.

We celebrate the commitment and professionalism of developmental service workers who provide daily, compassionate care in agencies across this province.

Avenue II Community Progressive Services

Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario

Central West Specialized
Developmental Services

Cochrane Temiskaming Resource Centre

Community Living Association for South Simcoe

Community Living Elgin

Community Living Huntsville

Community Living Integration

Community Living North Bay

Community Living North Halton

Community Living Meaford

Community Living Oakville


Community Living Quinte West

Community Living South Muskoka 

Community Living Thunder Bay

Community Living Wallaceburg

Elmira and District Association for
Community Living

Lutheran Community Care Centre
of Thunder Bay

Madawaska Valley Association

Middlesex Community Living

Ontario Public Service Employees Union 

Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs


Woodstock and District Developmental Services