Soon Chartwell Investors Will Gather For Shareholders Meeting, Meanwhile Senior Care Remains In Jeopardy In Chartwell Facilities Due To Low Wages And Poor Living And Working Conditions

Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, a union representing over 60,000 frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, is calling on Chartwell – Canada’s largest provider of senior retirement care – to immediately improve conditions and raise worker wages to solve the current care crisis in their facilities.

Next month, wealthy executives at Chartwell will meet with shareholders at their Annual General Meeting to celebrate rich dividends exceeding $148M that have been paid to shareholders in the past 12 months alone and over half a billion dollars since the pandemic hit in 2020. Reflecting their priorities, the corporation’s own website reads: “Chartwell Retirement Residences is committed to generating a strong and sustainable stream of monthly cash distributions to its Unitholders.”

Senior care is being compromised because Chartwell prioritizes corporate profits ahead of the needs of seniors and the workers who care for them. The consistent, quality care that seniors deserve at Chartwell retirement homes are falling short due to heavy staffing shortages and high turnover rates caused by poor working conditions, lack of training, and low wages.

Based on data from the 20 Chartwell retirement homes that SEIU Healthcare represents, 43% of workers hired since January 2023 have already left. An overall 67% turnover rate at these homes has resulted in the average tenure for a worker to be just 1.8 years, resulting in not only a lack of experienced workers, but a lack of meaningful resident-to-worker relationships that so many seniors need.

Former Chartwell retirement home employees are attributing the high turnover rates to unsafe working conditions, heavy workloads due to short staffing, and low wages that are as much as $6 per hour lower than their counterparts in long-term care.

While retirement home residents have historically required less care than those in long-term care (LTC), long wait lists in the LTC sector have resulted in higher care needs; yet the corporation refuses to provide enhanced and ongoing training for frontline care workers.


“As workers struggle to support their own families, and retirement home residents go without adequate care and attention, it’s clear that Chartwell is more dedicated to the financial wellbeing of shareholders than to the care deficit of seniors.”
Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare

“The care needs in a retirement home today are not the same as they were ten years ago. 95% of our Chartwell retirement homes have residents on a waiting list for long-term care – residents with dementia, mobility issues, and other serious ailments that require them to get help to complete daily tasks. It should be alarming to families that Chartwell doesn’t offer the highest training standards to support workers who deliver care. We are calling on Chartwell to put people over profits by immediately investing in ongoing training to deal with changing care needs, and to raise worker wages to ensure they recruit and retain the staff our seniors desperately need.”
Ricardo McKenzie, Director of Long-Term Care, SEIU Healthcare

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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.