December 7, 2022

After nearly a decade without a raise, disabled workers in Alberta demand 25% wage increase

There is an exodus from employees leaving the disability services industry in Alberta and those who stayed are demanding a raise.

A report from the Disability Services Council of Alberta (ACDS) shows that disability service workers earn an average of $18.76 per hour and there has been no wage increase since 2014.

Sam Stannard works at the Calgary SCOPE Society and says she knows firsthand how understaffing affects those who remain in the industry.

“More responsibilities have come and more staff have to cover shifts,” Stannard said. “To put it simply, salaries have not increased, but the workload has increased.”

Read more:

‘Staffing crisis’: Advocates say Alberta workers with disabilities are quitting their jobs due to low wages

Alberta Disability Awareness in Action launched a petition and letter-writing campaign to raise awareness.

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They want Alberta to increase funding for the Developmental Disability Program (PDD) to increase wages by 25%.

SCOPE Society of Calgary organizer and program coordinator Dale Cena said workers and customers are both feeling the impact of the high turnover rate.

“People just aren’t attracted to salaries,” Cena said. “Quality and care go hand in hand and we’re going to start to see people who aren’t as educated or trained to work with the most vulnerable.”

Click to play the video: “Financial crisis among Canadians living with disabilities”

Financial Crisis for Canadians Living with Disabilities

A survey of 60 disability service organizations conducted by ACDS shows that more than 37.4% of nonprofits in the sector believe their programs are at risk. Additionally, 50.9% are considering reducing or changing provincially funded programs due to financial pressures.

“The Government of Alberta must transfer the funds to PDD, and then (those funds) will be distributed among all organizations in Alberta,” Cena said.

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In an interview with Global News, Jeremy Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, said that while he could not commit to a specific number of salary increases or timetable, he did not not rule out a potential increase in funding for persons with disabilities. program.

He added that he was meeting with several agencies to find the best way to retain talent in the disability industry.

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