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OPSEU Workers at Community Living Huntsville call for investment in services

We the North
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OPSEU Local 380 at Community Living Huntsville (CLH) will hold an information session at the Huntsville Place Mall on December 17, 2011 as a strike deadline approaches.

What: Information Session
Where: Huntsville Place Mall, Huntsville ON.
When: December 17, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On December 22nd at 12:01 a.m. CLH staff may be forced off the job if the employer refuses to negotiate a fair contract.

“The fiscal priority lists of CLH and the Ministry are seriously flawed,” said Trudi Belrose, Bargaining Team Chair for Local 380. “They have decided that they have enough money for building projects, highly paid consultants and a new H/R assistant but not for staff who work directly with the supported people,” said Belrose.

“The money is there,” said Belrose, “however the Ministry’s priorities are upside down. On Remembrance Day this year 98 per cent of the Liberal caucus was reclassified and then given a pay raise between $16,000 and $49,000. They can find $179 a day to keep people in the prison system, but only $57 a day to pay for the services that people with disabilities depend on.”

In June 2010, at the grand opening of the $1.6 million Stone School house, funded in equal parts by Community Living Huntsville and the provincial and federal governments, Tony Clement asserted: “Not only will the expansion of the stone schoolhouse facility make a real difference in the lives of those with disabilities and their families, but through this and construction projects like it across northern Ontario our government is creating jobs.” However the employer is actively discouraging people with disabilities from using this newly renovated facility. The state-of-the-art sensory stimulation and relaxation room built a year ago cannot be used and front-line positions at CLH have been eliminated.

“We are so pleased with the support we have already received from the people we serve, their families and the community,” said Belrose. “We are asking that you continue to stand with us as we work for Huntsville’s quality developmental services, and to come out to our information session on December 17.”

Developmental Services workers at Community Living Huntsville support people who have an intellectual disability, to assist them to live, learn and work in the community.