District 6 Health Care Workers Council continues fight for long-term care legislation

This fall, the USW District 6 Health Care Workers Council in Ontario, Canada, launched a campaign to take action on staffing ratios and working conditions in long-term care. The campaign, titled “Seniors Deserve Better,” focuses on direct political and community action to improve conditions both for workers and residents.

A core group of activists have met regularly throughout the year to plan this multifaceted campaign that focuses on demanding pay increases for long-term care workers and the establishment of a bill to improve upon the Long-Term Care Homes Act of 2007.

In October, Minister Rod Phillips introduced Bill 37 to the legislature and began to rush it through readings. The District 6 Health Care Workers Council then submitted comments, including that the proposed legislation misses the urgency and magnitude of the challenges faced by long-term care workers.

The activists also say the conservative bill fails to recognize staffing as the most important challenge facing long-term care in Ontario.

The District 6 Health Care Workers Council has also been able to secure individual meetings with the NDP (New Democratic Party) and conservative MPPs (Members of Provincial Parliament) to lobby them for changes to the bill, including addressing the staffing crisis by promoting full-time work, achieving wage parity with public hospitals, and imposing proportional and escalating consequences for failing to meet care targets.

USW members, including Cheri Sorenson and Audra Nixon, have also stepped up to represent front-line workers and share their experiences in the long-term care industry, and the district is hopeful that these combined efforts will lead to improved amendments to this bill.

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Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

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Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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