Richmond Hill, Ontario (April 11, 2019)—Healthcare is not a real priority in the 2019 Ontario budget. The challenges our system face will only grow as the demand for services far outstrips expenditures in this budget. This budget confirms the coming years will be harder for frontline workers across the healthcare system in Ontario.
“Healthcare workers will be left worrying about taking on more responsibility to care without a real commitment to hire more frontline staff to meet the demands of a growing and aging population,” said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare, a healthcare union that represents 60,000 healthcare and community service workers in Ontario. “The road to ending hallway medicine will not be reached with the 2019 Ontario budget.”
Community and homecare services will not see enough investment to alleviate the growing pressures in more institutional settings, like long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals. At a time when recruitment and retention of personal support workers (PSWs) is at a crisis, this budget made no commitment to raising worker wages, even when it allocates more compensation for wealthy doctors. It was particularly disappointing to see this budget effectively eliminate the $65 million PSW retirement fund that was in the 2018 budget.
“While this budget confirms the coming years will be harder for frontline workers across the healthcare system, our union will not stop fighting to ensure their voices are heard. They provide quality care and deserve good, safe jobs,” added Stewart.
ABOUT SEIU HEALTHCARE
SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union’s members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits, and working conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the management and delivery of patient and client care. www.seiuhealthcare.ca.
For media inquiries, contact:
Emily Innes-Leroux, Brand Journalist