(March 3) Stewards and member activists spent the weekend putting the final touches on plans for tomorrow’s Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Day of Action across Ontario to protest severe understaffing at the $2.6 billion program that administers income and benefit support to 325,000 recipients and their families living beneath the poverty level.
At 12:00 noon, March 4, information pickets will form outside 40 ODSP offices in Ontario. Please join your sisters and brothers in a show of support. Click here for the location of an information picket close to you.
OPSEU represents more than 1,200 ODSP workers, whose health and workplace conditions are suffering from a caseload burden that is more than twice the national average. In Ontario, the typical frontline ODSP worker handles 530 cases. By contrast, in British Columbia the average is about 300 cases for every frontline worker. In Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the rate is less than 200:1. In Prince Edward Island, it is closer to 135:1.
OPSEU is demanding that $60 million be added to this spring’s provincial budget to bring ODSP caseload ratios closer to the national average of about 250:1.
On March 4, OPSEU executive board members and local stewards will be visiting local MPPs to lobby for $60 million in additional ODSP funding to ease the caseload crunch.
You can do your part by calling your local MPP. For contact information, please visit www.otla.on.ca
At 11 a.m. Tuesday March 4, OPSEU, OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas will host a press conference at Queen’s Park where he will outline the staffing problems at the ODSP and the negative impact this is having on 325,000 disabled Ontarians living on poverty-level incomes.
Joining Smokey at the press conference will be Michael Prue, MPP for Beaches-East York, and legislative critic for the ODSP and the spring budget.
Also joining Smokey will be Alayne Dileo, a member activist and ODSP frontline worker at 1870 Wilson Avenue in Toronto.
Show your support on March 4. Join the Day of Action and protest at an ODSP office in your community.