Despite a seven week strike in 2007 and recent lay-off announcements in neighboring communities, an overwhelming majority of Middlesex Community Living workers voted in favour of a strike on Monday, February 13. With this strike mandate, OPSEU will return to the bargaining table with a Conciliation Officer today.
“Our members turned out in record numbers for this vote,” said Local 166 Unit Steward, Rhonda Gibson. The bargaining team is going into conciliation with the strong support of our membership.”
“When is the Minister of Community and Social Services going to recognize that Ontario’s Developmental Services sector is in crisis? We are calling on the Minister to address the funding of this sector immediately” said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
The Ministry of Community and Social Services continues to ignore the needs of people with developmental disabilities by not providing the resources necessary to fund the services provided by frontline workers. In addition to wage improvements workers are seeking non-monetary improvements such as; vacancy posting and filling, lay off and amalgamation language.
In this demanding work environment, frontline workers service the diverse needs of individuals ranging from children to seniors in both the community and residential settings.
OPSEU Local 166 is a composite local including 105 workers from the Middlesex Community Living.