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Hundreds join ODSP Picket Lines demanding $60 million to stop understaffing crisis

In a province-wide show of solidarity, hundreds of staff of the Ontario Disability Support Program rallied outside OSDP offices today to demand the provincial government stop the understaffing crisis affecting the delivery of public services to 325,000 Ontarians with disabilities and living beneath the poverty line.

OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas told a Queen’s Park news conference the union supports the government’s war on poverty.

“But you fight the war on poverty by respecting people and by providing them with a decent, sustainable income and by providing our most vulnerable citizens with public services they are rightfully entitled to,” Thomas said.

“That’s not the current situation with the ODSP – not when each ODSP worker is struggling to cope with a caseload ratio of 530:1 – more than twice the average found in other provinces.”

Thomas repeated his demand made earlier this winter to the Legislative Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs that $60 million be added to this spring’s provincial budget to bring Ontario’s income support caseload ratio closer to the national average of about 250:1.

Noon hour information picket lines were set up at ODSP offices across Ontario.