Media - Caring in crisis report tour

Posted on February 26, 2020 1 min read

The tour of our Caring in Crisis report wrapped up on February 20th in Sudbury, being the last of 15 stops across Ontario. The tour of the report successfully cast a spotlight on the PSW crisis in long-term care homes across Ontario, generating more than 50 news media stories about the PSW crisis. Click here to read news stories from the tour.

Letter to Premier Doug Ford

Posted on February 19, 2020 1 min read

February 18, 2020

Honourable Premier Ford
e-mail: Premier’s Office, Room 281
Legislative Building, Queen's Park Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Subject: Caring in Crisis; Ontario’s Long-Term Care PSW Shortage

Dear Premier,

On December 9, 2019 Unifor held a lobby day at Queen’s Park with the intent of raising awareness of the critical shortage of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) across Ontario.

Unifor commissioned the Ontario Health Coalition to prepare a report as a direct result of hearing from our front-line members about the inability of long-term care operators to attract PSWs to work in long- term care facilities. While we were not able to secure a meeting with you during our lobby day, my Assistant Katha Fortier met you briefly in the hall and gave you a copy of the report. You committed that Minister Fullerton would meet with Unifor representatives and that meeting has finally been set for February 27, 2020.

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Extendicare Bargaining Update

Posted on May 02, 2019 1 min read

Last week your bargaining committee, representing ten Extendicare Nursing Homes in Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Hamilton, Ottawa, London and Port Stanley met for negotiations. Extendicare was represented by Bass and Associates, a labour relations organization that contracts their services to several nursing home employers and other public sector employers.

The collective agreements expire on July 31, 2019.

All local issues have been resolved and progress was made on several key non-monetary issues, but negotiations broke down over monetary proposals.

Affecting the negotiations was a recent settlement reached between the Ontario Nurses Association and several Ontario nursing homes. This settlement has wage increases of 1.5% in each of two years for RN’s and 1.4% in each of two years for RPN’s and other allied members.

Our bargaining committee had clear instructions from the membership that increases in this range were absolutely not acceptable.

In addition, the employer and their representative did little to address our proposal on safe staffing ratios and addressing the critical shortage of personal support workers.

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Unifor opens negotiations with Extendicare Nursing Home Chain, prioritizing safe resident care

Posted on April 26, 2019 1 min read

April 23, 2019

TORONTO - Unifor opens negotiations with ten Extendicare owned nursing homes this week and is prioritizing addressing the poor working conditions that lead to a massive shortage of personal support workers across the province.

“The expectations placed on front-line caregivers in long-term care are not only shocking but alarming and dangerous,” said Jerry Dias Unifor National President.

The new normal for a ratio of PSW’s to residents is about one to twelve on a day shift and even higher on other shifts. Nurses can be responsible for as many as 50 residents to provide treatments, medications and monitoring.

“Nursing homes are not only home to frail vulnerable seniors, but to those as young as 18, often with complex mental health issues, creating a hazardous combination,” said Dias. “It’s no wonder personal support workers are opting out of this profession.”

Unifor and the Ontario Health Coalition are working together to tackle the shortage of PSW’s at a series of round-table meetings across the province that include employer’s, government representatives and front-line caregivers.

“These meetings have given us some real insight into the challenges faced by workers that essentially leave them drained at the end of a shift, always knowing there were things that they just couldn’t do for their residents,” said Andy Savela, Unifor Director of Health Care. “The fact of the matter is that we need better care, safer work, and a reasonable compensation package to staff these homes appropriately.”

Unifor is fully committed to negotiating a fair and equitable settlement that recognizes the effort and sacrifice of our members.

Read the blog at Care Takes Time