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Unifor delivers petitions to demand minimum standard of care for seniors

June 5, 2019 - 12:00 AM

TORONTO – NDP Health Critic France Gelinas will present nearly 3000 signed Unifor Care Takes Time petitions to the Ontario legislature. The petition is calling on the provincial government to legislate a minimum four hours standard of care in long-term care homes.

“Legislating a minimum staffing level in long-term care homes is the only way to ensure that there are safe ratios for personal support workers to residents,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. “We know that it is humanly impossible to provide dignified care to residents when you are consistently assigned a ratio of one to twelve, or even more.”

What: Unifor demands Ford Government legislate a minimum four hours of care in long-term care homes

Who: Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President and health care workers from across the province

When: Thursday, June 6, 2019, at 1:45 p.m.

Where: Queen’s Park, Toronto

Unifor health care members circulated and signed the petition in support of the following four demands:

  • An amendment must be made to the Long-Term Care Homes Act for a legislated standard of a minimum of four hours care per resident each day adjusted for acuity level and case mix.
  • The Province must increase funding in order for long-term care homes to achieve a staffing and care standard and tie public funding for homes to the provision of quality care and staffing levels that meet the legislated minimum care standard of four hours.
  • Ontario must invest more in long-term care homes provided by municipalities and charitable organizations versus for-profit corporations which would allow for dollars to go to care not shareholders.
  • To ensure accountability and proper reporting, the province should make public reporting on staffing levels at each Ontario LTC home mandatory.

In 2017 a private members’ bill, introduced by the NDP requiring a minimum standard of daily care of four hours in long term care homes passed second reading and voted unanimously by all political parties.

“It is rich for Conservative MPPs to vote in favour of supporting a minimum of four hours of care when in opposition but remain silent when in government, said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President. “They are ignoring the fact that until we have better care and safer work, nursing homes will continue to have critical staffing shortages and become even more dangerous workplaces.”

Unifor in conjunction with the Ontario Health Coalition has been hosting round-table meetings on the PSW shortage across Ontario bringing stakeholders together, including employers, colleges, politicians, concerned family members and citizens, as well as front-line caregivers.  A full report will be released in September. 

Unifor represents more than 30,000 health care workers, including hospitals, long-term care, emergency services, and community and social services and is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at hamid.osman@unifor.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).