PRESS RELEASE—Richmond Hill, Ontario (May 29, 2019)—In an effort to stem the crisis of care in Ontario’s long-term care and nursing homes, SEIU Healthcare, the union representing more than 60,000 frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, today called upon the Ford Government to support its call for privately owned long-term care homes to put more money into frontline care.
Highlighting that the highly profitable corporations who dominate Ontario’s long-term care industry—Chartwell, Extendicare, Sienna, and Revera—receive hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts each year and are regulated by the Ontario government, SEIU Healthcare President, Sharleen Stewart, asked Premier Doug Ford to use his leverage over these companies to demand change.
SEIU Healthcare is preparing to bargain with these companies to address the problems that arise from diverting profits away from improving care. Understaffing in long-term care and nursing homes has led to a deteriorating state of care for seniors who suffer the consequences of understaffing and corporate rationing; all while CEOs are paid multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses.
In a public awareness campaign asking people to Tell Them to Care, SEIU Healthcare has appealed to Ontario families, and the business community, directly to urge the CEOs of these homes to provide more resources and increase staffing to improve care for the elderly people in their homes.
A recent online public survey* reveals that almost 75 per cent of Ontarians believe that long-term care and nursing homes are in the business of making money. Only 16 per cent reported believing that they are in the business of providing care. Additionally,
• 91% of people agree that conditions need to be improved in these homes.
• 93% agree that these corporations should hire more frontline workers.
• 85% believe that the provincial government should force these homes to invest more—if they do not do so themselves.
“This is about safety, dignity, and the kind of quality care seniors deserve and should expect to receive.”
“Premier Doug Ford didn’t hesitate to call out Hydro One’s $6 million CEO during the last election, so we would expect him to speak out just as loudly against the more than $9.2 million paid to these CEOs while our seniors suffer from inadequate care.”
“SEIU Healthcare is calling on the Ontario government—as one of, if not the single largest customer of these corporations—to demand better in the fight to put an end to the crisis of care and tell long-term care corporations to put profits into the care of people.”
“It’s time that these large, for-profit long-term care corporations put resident care ahead of profits.”
“Frontline healthcare workers are telling us that inadequate staffing levels and the increasing pressures of caring for more seniors with less time are key reasons for workplace injury.”
– SEIU Healthcare President, Sharleen Stewart
*Editors note: An online survey of 800 Ontarians, proportionate to the gender and age of Ontario’s population was conducted by The Gandalf Group Inc., a Toronto-based opinion research consultancy, on behalf of SEIU Healthcare. The survey was conducted between May 24 to 26, 2019.
To send a message to the CEOs visit www.TellThemToCare.ca.
Follow the advocacy campaign on SEIU Healthcare’s Facebook page.
Twitter: @SEIUHealthCan #TellThemToCare
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:
SEIU Healthcare, Head of Strategic Communication