Union calling for immediate investment to permanently support frontline staff with better pay and better working conditions
Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, the largest union in the long-term care (LTC) sector, is celebrating a long-fought effort to raise the standards of care in Ontario’s nursing homes. For too long, SEIU Healthcare and its members have been calling for meaningful government investments to address the understaffing endemic to the LTC sector. While it is deeply regretful that we’ve had to endure the worst healthcare crisis in a generation to finally generate cross-partisan consensus to act, today marks an important turning point in the conversation about how to provide adequate care for our most vulnerable residents.
To make real improvement we also need a clear plan to move from public commitment to urgent action and investment. SEIU Healthcare is extremely disappointed that the government has indicated that it will take four years to meet new higher care standards. If Quebec can find a way to hire ten-thousand frontline workers in just a few months, there is no excuse for waiting four years to do this in Ontario.
Raising the standards of care absolutely must include providing workers with full-time jobs, higher wages, and benefits like paid sick leave and retirement security—all things that the greedy for-profit nursing home industry have been fighting for years. Solving the recruitment and retention challenges is a matter of recognizing the value of healthcare workers, in particular, women.
SEIU Healthcare is ready and eager to work with the government on fixing our long-term care system.
“SEIU Healthcare thanks the government of Ontario, and all members of the legislative assembly, for their commitment to higher, measured and publicly reported care standards in Ontario’s nursing homes. Ensuring that residents in all homes receive least four hours of hands-on care a day, responds clearly to the repeated demands of workers and their unions, residents and their families, and elder care experts. As an immediate next step, SEIU Healthcare is calling on the government to enshrine these standards in law to ensure accountability. Workers and the seniors they care for deserve no less.” – SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart
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