Richmond Hill, Ontario — Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare, issued the following statement in response to the provincial budget in Ontario:
“The women and men serving on the frontline of our healthcare system are experiencing an economic and emotional depression, yet today’s budget fails to deliver the supports required to stabilize the workforce.
Healthcare workers have been calling on Premier Ford to make the initial $4 per hour ‘pandemic pay’ available to all frontline heroes fighting COVID and to make it permanent, yet his budget ignores their demand for respect and economic security.
67% of our union members report a decline in their take home pay, yet Premier Ford’s budget fails to provide low-wage workers, like personal support workers, a living wage of at least $25 per hour.
Precariously employed healthcare workers deserve paid sick leave so they are not forced to make the untenable choice between putting food on the table or going to work sick, yet Premier Ford’s budget denies them this basic protection.
Good, full-time jobs with fair pay and benefits are essential to the retention of healthcare workers, yet Premier Ford’s budget is absent funding to reverse the trend of part-time work.
Ontario’s long-term care homes will be unable to deliver 4-hours of care per resident per day without the people required to deliver that care, and because Doug Ford’s budget failed to deliver for healthcare workers our most vulnerable seniors will go without the dignified care they deserve.”
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. www.seiuhealthcare.ca