June 17, 2019 is Developmental Services Appreciation Day – an important time to honour the workers who dedicate themselves to care for and support individuals with developmental disabilities.
OPSEU proudly represents more than 11,500 developmental services workers across the province. On behalf of OPSEU’s entire Executive Board, thank you to each and every member for your dedication and commitment. It’s not always easy, but the work you do is life-changing.
Developmental services workers are not only compassionate and dedicated, they share a resiliency with those they support – especially in the face of uncertainty.
We know the Ford government has lost its moral bearing – cutting services that support the most vulnerable people in our society. But when faced with deep cuts in the autism sector and an attack on their wages, developmental services workers not only endure, they organize, mobilize and fight back.
For years, the sector has struggled with high turnover in the workforce, which has impacted the continuity of care for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The growth of an unregulated, informal workforce employed through direct funding under the Passport program only serves to undermine the safety, accountability and quality of services.
This year on Developmental Services Appreciation Day, we must do more than thank developmental services workers. We must demand that a regulatory framework be put in place for the Passport program, and we must advocate for better protection for workers and clients.
We must continue to build bridges with our labour and community allies, because our solidarity is more important now than ever. We’re stronger together, and we’re Together to Win.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice-President/Treasurer, OPSEU
Chair, OPSEU Developmental Services Sector