Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, the union that represents over 60,000 frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, has filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on behalf of workers at Responsive Group’s Rykka Care Centres, pursuant to section 34(5) of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Healthcare workers are standing up to the private, for-profit nursing home operator for being discriminated against based on their gender and skin colour. SEIU Healthcare is standing shoulder to shoulder with exploited workers in this sector who are predominately of people of colour and overwhelmingly women.

The complaint is calling for better working conditions for the applicants, as well as orders to replace the management at the Rykka Care Centres.

The Crown and its Ministries of Health, Labour and Long-Term Care have also been named as Respondents to this application for their responsibility in regulating and overseeing the operation of long-term care homes in the province.

SEIU Healthcare has been calling on all levels of government to end the discriminatory and exploitative system of for-profit care across Canada that allows privileged and powerful men like Mike Harris to put their financial interests before our elderly moms and dads and the workers who care for them.

Our union has lost four members during the pandemic. All women. All women of colour.

We remember them:

  • Maureen Ambersley, RPN
  • Christine Mandegarian, PSW
  • Arlene Reid, PSW
  • Sharon Roberts, PSW

Statement from Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare:

“Everyone knows that the working conditions in long-term care are abhorrent. We have a care economy in Ontario that exploits working women of colour, who are intentionally abused by their employers, as well as their government.

After the devastating year workers have had, SEIU Healthcare supports working women of colour who are standing up to say enough is enough. That means calling out violations of the Human Rights Code where and when they occur.

It’s time we boldly change the conditions of work and care in our nursing home system once and for all.”


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.