'Good Jobs' fair to defend quality care for the elderly


LONDON, ON, Sept. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Members and leadership of Unifor Local 27 will be rallying at the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care on Wednesday to bring public attention to the need for good jobs in health care to ensure quality resident care. Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care (formerly St. Mary's and Marian Villa) is home to 394 residents, and is operated by St. Joseph's Health Care London.

"Stable employment and scheduling for those providing long-term care to residents is not only necessary to provide 'good jobs'," said Corey Vermey, Director of Health Care at Unifor. "It is fundamental to achieving quality of care by directly strengthening the consistency and continuity of the care provided for residents."

These long-term care workers emphasize that familiarity and trust by residents for staff is a critical dimension to support cooperation in activities of daily living, particularly with a longer-stay elderly population, the majority of whom are experiencing dementia and other cognitive disorders.

Residents with dementia in particular respond better to familiar caregivers and may grow anxious and aggressive when faced with persons they don't recognize who seek to perform intimate activities such as bathing or toileting. That requires consistency in both staff assignment and scheduling to ensure trust and continuity.

When:    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Where:   At the southwest corner of the intersection of Grosvenor and Richmond Streets (under the canopy), London, ON
Who:   Michelle Flewin, Chair, St. Joseph's Health Centre (Grosvenor sites)
  Ann Marie Tulett, Chair, St. Joseph's Health Centre (Parkwood site)
  Jim Read, Unifor Local 27 President
  Brian Chapman, Unifor Local 27 First Vice-President
  Corey Vermey, Unifor Health Sector Director

After a summer of chaotic scheduling and inadequate staffing, workers are publicly calling on St. Joseph's Health Care London to work together on the following 6-point plan

  1. A commitment to continuity of caregiver for residents by reducing, with the ultimate goal of eliminating, the need for agency staff.
  2. A commitment to continuity of caregiver for residents and continuity in scheduling for employees by ensuring regular scheduling patterns.
  3. A commitment to review the current posted schedule or scheduling practices to address blatant inequities (weekends off; ignoring home assignment; denial of bereavement leave; insufficient notice to report times, etc).
  4. A commitment to jointly explore introducing the 'shadow or buddy' system with FT/PT employees on an urgent basis (including through workplace unit trials).
  5. A commitment to a joint committee approach to review and designate 'home' assignment and other scheduling criteria (opportunity for weekends off; scheduling vacation and rules governing absence approvals) for the next posted schedule; with a view towards developing practices that can be incorporated into the collective agreement (applicable to the Mount Hope operation).
  6. A commitment to express to the Ministry by way of a joint communique with Unifor Local 27 stressing the urgent need for adequate resources to ensure safe and adequate staffing levels and to address ongoing recruitment and retention issues.

Unifor is committed to a Good Jobs agenda - including hosting a Good Jobs Summit. Unifor has partnered with Ryerson University, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) to host a multi-stakeholder dialogue on how together, we can create good jobs - now and in the future. The Summit will take place October 3 to 5 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 305,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.