KAWARTHA LAKES-Health care workers at eleven long-term care facilities will begin escalating community actions across southwestern Ontario after talks with employers broke off.
“It is disgraceful that long-term care workers are being disrespected at the bargaining table despite the well-documented hardships they continue to endure,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Ontarians are fed up with the state of long-term care. It’s time for all healthcare workers to get the respect, protection, and fair pay they deserve.
According to the Ontario government, 3828 seniors in nursing homes have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Approximately 1,000 members of Unifor Local 302 in the London area will begin holding workplace actions beginning this week. The first action will take place Dec. 15, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Trillium Villa Nursing Home in Sarnia.
“The failure to adequately invest in the people who care for our seniors is at the core of the long-term care crisis,” said Lisa Tucker, Unifor Local 302 President. “We know these private long-term care homes can afford to address the staffing crisis and adequately pay everyone. Without government legislation that compels them to do so, we have to take action in our communities and ask Ontarians to stand with long-term care workers.”
In its final report, the Ontario Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission thoroughly documented the horrific conditions and traumatic working conditions in Ontario’s long-term care system. It also provided the Ontario government with recommendations to address staffing shortages, alleviate untenable workloads, and reduce high turnover in the system, particularly at privately operated homes, by increasing wages and benefits. However, Bill 37, the Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act fails to include the report’s recommended action on improving working conditions and compensation.
The union is planning more actions across the province, including Jan. 12, 2022 at 2 p.m. at Meadow Park Nursing Home in London.
Unifor Local 302 represents nurses, Personal Support Workers, activation assistants, as well as dietary, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance workers at the eleven long-term care facilities.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy.