BARRY’S BAY – Barry’s Bay support workers are sending a strong message to the province.
More than two-thirds of workers are part-time, temporary or on contract and work with people with developmental disabilities.
Many of the workers earn less than $14 an hour. In a press release, the OPSEU, the union representing the union, said talks took place on December 11 and 12 with employers.
Five support workers with the Madawaska Valley Association for Community Living held an information picket in Barry’s Bay on December 12, to show that they are watching developments closely. They want significant changes to show up in a provincial framework agreement that local unions can adopt.
The provincial talks resulted from earlier discussions facilitated by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, which is responsible for developmental services. The Ontario government has allocated $200 million for frontline workers over the next three years.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said no matter how much support workers love their jobs, they cannot stay if they cannot make ends meet.
Get your December 17, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.