Unifor has launched a campaign to inform residents, families and community members about the shamefully low wages being paid by Chartwell Retirement Homes in seven locations across the province.
The campaign asks members of the community to sign a petition demanding that Chartwell pay workers a fair wage, supporting demands by front-line workers at the bargaining table.
“Caregivers are vital in providing a safe and enjoyable living environment for seniors in retirement homes,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to Unifor National President. “Chartwell’s track record of paying workers poverty wages makes it difficult for workers and residents to receive the high-quality care they deserve and pay for.”
Chartwell Retirement Homes pay many of their staff minimum wage. In fact, most of their employees do not receive a living wage. To make matters worse, Chartwell has proposed all minimum wage employees have their wages frozen until 2020. These workers provide care and compassion to residents, work that is so important that the Ontario Labour Relations Board has consistently denied them the right to strike, putting them under the same legislation as other essential service providers, such as hospital workers.
“Chartwell needs to get its priorities in order,” continued Fortier. “Its Chair of the Board, former Premier of Ontario Mike Harris takes home a hefty $237,000 while front line workers, make abysmal, poverty wages.”
The union, representing Chartwell workers has organized a province-wide mobilization campaign under the banner of Pay Fair Chartwell.
The campaign also features billboard advertisements in all Chartwell Retirement Home communities, a petition calling on Chartwell CEO Brent Binions and Chair of the Board Mike Harris to pay workers a decent, living wage and the “Ask Hilda” video series, providing the union its own take on Chartwell’s “Ask Edna” videos.
“Families and community members have been shocked to learn about the outrageously low wages of Chartwell workers,” said Andy Savela, Unifor Health Care Director “Chartwell has gotten away for far too long with not treating its workers with respect, and that is going to change now.”