June 3, 2020
KITCHENER – Unifor applauds the Ontario government's decision to appoint St. Mary's General Hospital to temporarily manage Forest Heights long-term care home due to an uncontained outbreak of COVID-19. "The continued severity of the COVID-19 outbreak at Forest Heights clearly illustrates the mismanagement, and are a result of a lack of health and safety protocols and an effective pandemic plan to protect residents and workers," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "I hope that today's decision sends a clear message to the management of Forest Heights and all other LTC homes that they need to get their act together and put residents and workers first."
To date, the home has had 51 deaths due to COVID-19, and 175 residents and 69 staff have tested positive for the virus.
"The order makes it clear that the spread of the virus is not the fault of residents and staff but of management and Revera, a for-profit company that puts dollars and cents in front of the health and safety of its workers and residents," said Ruth Pryce, President of Unifor Local 1106. “This is also a message that we cannot return to business as usual after the pandemic ends.”
The order from the Ministry of Long-Term Care will be in effect for the next 90 days and will put in place a new management structure to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Unifor represents more than 250 members at Forest Heights long-term care home in Kitchener.
Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.
To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at email@example.com or 647-448-2823 (cell).