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June 20: Let’s celebrate developmental services!

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas released this message today to all members of OPSEU Sector 2 to mark Developmental Services Appreciation Day.

Dear friends:

Today is Developmental Services Appreciation Day.

On behalf of the 155,000 members of this great union, I want to thank you for your commitment and your compassion. You make life better for countless adults with developmental disabilities, and that makes life better for us all.

I’m proud that OPSEU continues to be the union of choice for workers in this vital sector.

We represent more than 11,500 developmental services workers across the province, and in those large numbers, you have found incredible strength. Over the past year, you and your sector leaders have worked hard on your successful campaign to “Raise the Bar” for developmental services workers.

Through organizing, mobilizing, and building alliances with families and community groups, you succeeded in forcing the previous government to commit to increasing base funding to your agencies.

We are now in a different political landscape with a new government.

But I want to remind you that you haven’t lost your strong ability to organize and mobilize. You haven’t lost the alliances you have forged with community partners. And you certainly haven’t lost the full support and backing of your union.

Together, we will make sure this new government honours the commitments that have been made to you.

By the same token, we will make sure that your employers honour Bill 148, which has made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. For developmental services members, where 75 per cent of the workforce part-time, this is incredibly important, and even life changing.

All 44 of OPSEU’s developmental services bargaining units will be at the table this year. Together, we’ll hold your employers to the standards of Bill 148.

And in the meantime, I want to thank you again for your dedication and commitment to supporting some of the most vulnerable members of society. You’re making Ontario better for us all.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union