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Kenora Developmental Services picket calls for funding of services

We the North
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OPSEU Developmental Services workers at Kenora Association for Community Living (KACL) are holding an information picket on Monday, October 3 in a last-minute bid for critical sector funding.

What: Developmental Services information picket
When: Monday, October 3, 2011, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Where: KACL Administration Building, 501 8th Avenue South

Of the 125 staff at KACL, more than half only have part-time work. As workers struggle with heavy workloads and difficult shifts, waitlists in Kenora continue to be a problem for people living with developmental disabilities.

"We are calling on the Kenora Association for Community Living to negotiate a contract that supports the quality services and care that Kenora depends on,” said OPSEU steward and bargaining team member, Peter Edwards.

On October 25 and 26 workers at KACL will be returning to the table with the employer and asking for a fair contract. Continuity of access and standards of care are dependent on adequate funding for front-line workers.

Central bargaining talks have broken off at the Developmental Services Provincial Discussion Table (DSPDT). This has resulted in the need to bargain each agreement from scratch at the local level, and has contributed to the fact that 45 additional Developmental Services units across Ontario are currently in bargaining, and 38 of those have filed for conciliation.

Many workers have now been without a contract for as many as 17 months, and five of these units have taken strike votes.

Ontario’s Developmental Services are seriously under-funded with waitlists prohibiting access to core services for thousands of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens. People with disabilities often only receive services once they reach a point of crisis.

Developmental Services workers at KACL support people who have an intellectual disability with the services they need to live, learn and work in their community.

For more information:

Peter Edwards, OPSEU Local 702 steward and bargaining team member
at Kenora Association for Community Living: 807-467-1235

Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications (bilingual): 416-557-7936