Solving The Community Living Labour Crisis
We need your help today!
Write, call or email your MLA today!
People First of Manitoba, the Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba, Abilities Manitoba, Community Living Manitoba and the Alliance of Direct Support Professionals have formed a coalition to seek immediate action from the Manitoba Government to address the high turnover rates, the insufficient training standards and the dire shortage of staff available to support people with intellectual disabilities in Manitoba.
For International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3, 2022) we are asking you to take a few minutes to help make significant positive changes for people with disabilities in Manitoba. Write, call or email your MLA today!
We know that the lack of staff in combination with lack of standardized training means people with disabilities are at risk everyday. The statistics and the stories tell a scary and preventable tale of what is happening to people funded by the Government of Manitoba. This crisis is happening because of chronic underfunding,
Staff are under trained and underpaid. Staff numbers are alarmingly low, and people continue to sit at home feeling isolated and abandoned because there’s no staff to open day programs or to fully staff homes.
Turnover is happening so quickly that staff don’t have time to be well-trained before being trusted with personal care, lifts and transfers, medication management, tube feeding, cooking and cleaning.
Organizations are starving for applicants – and applicants are turning down offers when they hear how low the wage is.
Staff who remain are mandated to work overtime and have very little time and energy to do the critical work of getting to know the people they support well enough to connect friendships and meaningful experiences.
This entire group of vulnerable people is at great risk –
and we need your help now.
We are calling for immediate action from government to support a training program and funding for wages 60% above minimum wage and for all Direct Support Professionals.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Write, email or call your MLA today to share your stories of how the crisis is affecting you and people around you.
Find contact information for your MLA at: https://www.electionsmanitoba.ca/en/voting/MyVotingInfo
For a list of MLAs who sit on The Treasury Board and have prominent roles pertaining to our sector, CLICK HERE:
On November 28, MLA Lisa Naylor raised the issue of low wages to the Legislative Assembly. The transcript can be found HERE.
Community Living disAbility Services provides supports to 7,400 adults and includes funding to 92 non-profit organizations. Those organizations have faced recruitment and retention challenges since the inception of community living. During COVID, cracks have become canyons and organizations are struggling hour by hour to maintain staffing and provide needed supports and services.
Our sector is in desperate need of a substantial funding increase in order to continue to provide these valuable services. The labour crisis has devastated many organizations and had significant and negative impacts on the people receiving services. The risk of these services crumbling as a result of lack of staffing is very real and requires the Province’s swift action.
Since 2000, funding to CLDS non-profit organizations (NPO’s) has lagged behind cost of living increases. Funding to CLdS day services for staff wages is only pennies higher than our current minimum wage. Manitoba’s minimum wage is second lowest in Canada. Funding to CLdS residential supports is a mere $15.11 per hour.
The diverse skill set needed in any front line position simply cannot be purchased for $12-$15 per hour and sustained. As an example of the inequities, front line staff dispense medications that health care aides making up to 60% more are deemed not qualified to dispense.
Adults with an intellectual/developmental disability will have close to 800 people provide very personal and intimate supports to them between 18-65.
The Province pays several dollars more per hire for similar internal positions, and parity is a necessity. The Province needs to make a commitment to fund wages at 60% above minimum wage.
We implore CLdS to urgently address this long-standing issue that has pushed our sector to the brink. 7,400 people and their families, 92 organizations with over 10,000 employees and their families – 10s of thousands of Manitobans care about this issue and desperately need to see a swift shift to value the incredible work being done to support some of Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens.
We cannot stress enough the lengths that non-profits, individuals and families have gone to in the midst of the pandemic. Now, we need our government to demonstrate value to all, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those who continued to work through the pandemic and continue to provide the needed continuity in people’s lives. This needs to be a career option where people can earn a fair living wage. The risks are significant if resolution from the Province does not come.
We are also aware of the recommendations of the VPA Task Force. In order to move forward and see meaningful improvements in the lives of people impacted by the legislation, financial resources are needed. Please prioritize resources to this critical work that is a direct link to people’s quality of life, access to services and ability to exercise their rights.