Union reiterates demand for real change and the end to for-profit delivery of long-term care in Ontario
UPDATE: Sienna Senior Living says Executive Vice-President of Operations Joanne Dykeman is no longer with the company.
Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, the union that represents over 60,000 frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, joined with families and workers in Woodbridge who are demanding real change and an end to the for-profit delivery of long-term care after a leaked audio recording reveals the distain that Sienna nursing home executives have for the pain and grief of resident families.
During a telephone town hall with resident families at the Woodbridge facility, Sienna Senior Living delivered prepared talking points in a transparent attempt to rebuild its corporate image after failing to keep workers and families safe during COVID-19. Before exiting the call, executives were overheard mocking and ridiculing the concerns of families.
Following the disturbing call, the long-term care corporation issued a press release that included no substantive change and no real action to address the underlying conditions that contribute poor nursing home conditions.
The failed experiment of for-profit delivery of long-term care must come to an end.
Statement from Anthony Manieri, whose 55-year-old sister Lucia lives at Sienna Woodbridge Vista Community Care with Multiple sclerosis (MS) and is now COVID-19 positive:
“I’m here today to speak for our family members and residents of Woodbridge Vista Care Community who can’t speak for themselves. Shame on Sienna Living, its Board of Directors, and Joanne Dykeman the VP of Operations, who during a policed town hall meeting last night danced around questions from family members concerned about operations, only to realize once the town hall meeting was finished that Ms. Dykeman didn’t fully end the session and referred to us as those “blood sucking class action lawsuit people,” followed by personally ridiculing family members who asked questions.”
Statement from SEIU Healthcare President, Sharleen Stewart:
“I would call on VP Dykeman to resign, but that wouldn’t change the fact that at the end of the day companies like Sienna are simply not in the business of care.
Yesterday Sienna issued a meaningless press release that includes no financial resources to improve dangerously low staffing levels for better resident care.
Yet Sienna continued to pay out over $15,000,000 in dividends to shareholders during the first four months of the pandemic.
If Sienna is open to a real investigation and real change, they should call on Doug Ford for a full public inquiry and agree to testify in front of a judge.”
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.