Meeting on Thursday, February 23, 2006
20 Spadina Road, Room 1
Chair: Agnes Samler
Present: George Braithwaite, OASIS
Paul Burston, Faith/Culture
Dominic Conforti, MARC
Brian Dunne, OASIS
Ken Harvey, MARC
Geoff McMullen, Great Lakes Society
Keith Powell, Community Living Ontario
Regrets: Brian Davies, Great Lakes Society
Zelda Shore, Faith/Culture
The agenda was reviewed and the following items were added:
The January 26, 2006 minutes have been approved by e-mail.
The tasks outlined in the January 26, 2006 Minutes were reviewed as “business arising”. It was agreed that there was some confusion about the tasks as the group working on Competitive Compensation were also attempting to address Central Bargaining and Pay Equity. It was agreed that this issue would be addressed later in the agenda.
Keith Powell provided a summary of the symposium. The presentations Brian Orr, Senior Human Resources Manager, London Health Sciences Centre and Terry West, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies were well received and provided a realistic view of the pros and cons of central bargaining. It was noted that the term could refer to a range of practices.
Keith also provided a brief summary of the Deputy Minister’s comments including his commitment to the transformation process and the need to have some form of assessment tool.
It was noted that Community Living Ontario hosted the event and provided a welcoming atmosphere for representatives and attendees from other Provincial Network memberships.
It was agreed that the Provincial Network would provide leadership to the initiatives underway and would forward any final documents to the Ministry.
The importance of maintaining momentum was noted.
After discussion it was agreed the Competitive Compensation group should concentrate on three tasks:
This would become the final document to present to the Ministry and to other elected officials as necessary.
The purpose of the document would be to provide information in summary form, including ‘sound bites’ which could be used publicly. The purpose of this document would be to engage the sector and, as necessary, the general public.
It was felt that Pay Equity needed a separate focus including a strategy to change the legislation. This will be discussed further at a future meeting.
There was a discussion about structure, e.g. should the Central Bargaining be a sub-group of the Competitive Compensation group?
The general feeling was that these initiatives could be completed in a more focused and timely way if undertaken by separate groups. It was agreed that cross-over membership might be a good way for groups to build on each other’s work.
Note: In later discussions it was agreed that the short summary document or ‘Fact Sheet” would be circulated in advance of the budget announcement.
This task was taken on by Andy Rotsma, Dominic Conforti, Dave Ferguson and Brodie Hart. Others were invited to join the group by Brodie.
The original task was defined as exploring the feasibility of Central Bargaining. After further discussion and taking into account the presentations at the Symposium on February 10th, it was agreed that the task needed to be expanded to describe a process of management coordination. This would include coordinated strategies, support to small or poorly-resourced agencies as well as the concept of central bargaining as one option. A call for proposals to do this task will be circulated.
A letter has been sent to Kevin Costante requesting that the Provincial Network be involved in an advisory capacity around new funding for salaries.
As the Ministry has been clear that if dollars are available only a portion would go to salaries, there was a discussion on what else might be recommended by the Network. Recommendations included:
A draft letter to Ellen Waxman was tabled outlining the difficulties experienced by agencies who were attempting to obtain or renew mortgages. During our discussion the issue was expanded to include zoning and property-tax issues. Apparently the tax exemption for charitable organizations is not legislated as a mandatory exemption but is optional for municipalities.
It was agreed that the letter would be redrafted and that Brian Dunne, Paul Burston and Agnes Samler would participate in conference call with Ellen.
The issue of Access Models will be on the next agenda of the Partnership table.
The Assessment Tool was reviewed by families and self-advocate representatives. There was a negative response to the assessment tool and a commitment on the part of the Ministry to review the tool before moving forward.
Paul Burston will also raise the issue of an Avian Flu pandemic at the next Provincial Table meeting.
Personal Support Workers in Ontario – Discussion Guide was tabled. It was prepared by the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council. The Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council is seeking written submissions in response to the document with a deadline of March 15, 2006.
Concerns were expressed that if Personal Support Workers were regulated under the Council, work currently undertaken by DSWs or other workers would be prohibited. Some of the prohibited items could be g-tube feeding, administering medications or similar tasks. A further concern was that all staff would be requested to take PSW training that might not be a good fit for the philosophy and work of our sector.
Alternative suggestions included identification of competencies, additional focused training and the development of core standards. These were seen as better options to the regulation of PSWs.
Representatives who are responding to this document will share their responses with others.
Over the lunch period there was a presentation on ConnectABILITY. Provincial Network members were enthusiastic in their support for the project and agreed that a letter of support could be sent to Kevin Costante from the Provincial Network. Angela Bradley will draft the letter.
Next meeting will be held on March 24, 2006
Ernie Parsons, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services will be presenting the report of his visit across the Province and has asked that we identify a venue for the event.
Agnes will provide further information.