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Unifor rpn working group meets with Health Minister christine Elliotte

Local 27 Billboard Southdale & Wharncliffe Rds.

Unifor RPN Working Group Fairness for RPN's Campaign

It’s time to respect, protect, and pay Ontario’s RPNs. Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) have stepped up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in a big way. Yet, they have had to fight for proper health and safety protections in the workplace and have had their collective agreement rights superseded. The media has widely reported that the pandemic has only served to highlight an existing nursing shortage and the risk of an exodus of nurses due to burnout. Without real measures to improve working conditions and compensation, the health care system is at risk.

To read more and take action on the

Fairness for RPN’s campaign, please follow the link below;

https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/fairness-rpns?fbclid=IwAR1QBOa9D4V6gU06_uhX9DZ3Oklb0erCo3F3kHLM7Ys8Dl6UGIH6eGeUokc

Letter to Minister Calandra  Appointment to Minister of Long Term Care

SENT VIA EMAIL

The Honourable Paul Calandra, M.P.P.
Minister of Long-Term Care
paul.calandra@pc.ola.org

Dear Minister Calandra,

I would like to congratulate you on your recent appointment as Minister of Long-Term Care. We appreciate that you have reached out to our union. The 15,000 members we represent in this sector have ultimately worked through a humanitarian crisis, one that still exists right across the province. 

We understand that the government is taking steps to alleviate the crisis in LTC, including the establishment of a new Long-Term Care Act. Through our position on the Strategic LTC Advisory Table, we have had an opportunity to provide input and raise concerns, but it is important that we communicate these concerns directly to you. 

First and foremost, while the move to include a provincial target of four hours of care is commendable, we are gravely concerned that this standard will be completely unenforceable. 

Each LTC home should be accountable for this standard and the information should be readily available for the public and enforceable through a Compliance Officer. If this part of the Act is not amended to ensure its enforceability, it will essentially become meaningless. For-profit operators have had the worst outcomes throughout the pandemic, and holding them to account should be a top priority. 

We also remain concerned that there has been no effort to genuinely improve wages, benefits, paid sick days and access to full-time work across the sector. Right now I can say with certainty that every LTC home in the province is working short, meaning there is simply not enough staff present at any given time to provide quality care. 
Let’s be clear: residents are suffering from neglect right now, simply because there are not enough hands. 

These working conditions, along with the grossly inadequate compensation, do nothing to attract workers to the sector, let alone retain those who are currently there. Many feel disrespected by both the government and their employers, and are planning to leave the industry as a whole. 

Negotiations in the sector are generally led by Bass and Associates and workers are covered under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA), which prevents them from legally striking. Suppressing wages has been a priority of these mostly for-profit homes guided by their agents. In the last decade, these workers have not had a wage increase above 1.5%, and were even awarded a two year wage freeze. In real dollars, long-term care workers have seen their wages decline and their purchasing power diminished. 

Arbitrators have not been kind to the sector and have blatantly ignored their obligation to consider “The employer’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees” as they are required to do under the Act. Even today at the bargaining table, employers’ offers have not been above 1.5%. There is absolutely no way any union in this sector could ratify a collective agreement with a wage offer that could only be seen as an absolute insult. 

These same employers, when desperate, will enhance overtime pay, add temporary wage enhancements, and regularly use agency staff who often earn double what our members earn. Clearly they can afford to negotiate better wages.
This suppression of wages is exactly why LTC homes were in no position to survive a pandemic. We can never forget the thousands of lives lost in LTC, including front line workers, two of whom were Unifor Personal Support Workers. Improving the conditions of work will create an environment that will attract thousands of workers who have left, and in fact allow your government to speed up the implementation of the four hours of care. We can’t wait till 2025. 

The temporary wage enhancement for PSW’s, while welcome, should be extended to every worker in the LTC sector and made permanent. These workers have also been denied decades of maintenance of proxy pay equity. The courts have recently determined their right to this maintenance, but the employers will continue to stall implementation, for perhaps years. As Minister on this critical file, we would ask you to stand up for the women in this sector and mandate pay equity immediately. 

Registered practical nurses (RPNs) have played an incredible role during the pandemic in every sub-sector of our health care system, but their roles as leaders and direct care providers in LTC has been critical. Yet their compensation falls far below what they would earn in a hospital or municipal home.  If you can imagine, there are actually nursing homes where a PSW with the wage enhancement earns almost as much as an RPN. No one denies that the PSWs deserve this enhancement, but so do the nurses and every other worker in LTC who have been covered under emergency orders that supersede their collective agreement rights. 

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and representatives of our leadership to discuss these issues at your earliest convenience. We would also appreciate an opportunity for a meeting with front-line LTC RPN’s to discuss their important work. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Jerry Dias                    
Unifor National President

In celebration of National Nurses week, UNIFOR Local 27 wants to recognize our RPNS who have been Frontline Heroes. RPNS are knowledgeable caring nurses, who advocate for quality health care. We would also like to recognize all of our health care workers, who have been dedicated to the wellness of patients in the London area, during the pandemic. Thank you to all of our HEALTH CARE HEROS. UNIFOR LOCAL 27

Happy Nurses Week 2021

to Listen to our Nurses week message on fm96 & cjbk 1290 , follow the link below

 SEIU Healthcare, Unifor and CUPE unions representing 175,000healthcare workers across Ontario held a Virtual media conference to announce the launch of International Women’s Day actions with a clear message to Premier Ford: “Respect Us. Protect Us. Pay Us.”

To view the video , follow the link below.

https://fb.watch/47fb2a0XQ6/

Please click on the link below to sign the Ontario Health Coalition’s Save Our Seniors petition. 

https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/email-your-local-mpp-and-premier-doug-ford-to-take-action-now-and-save-our-seniors/

Resources for Support During the Covid-19 Outbreak

  • CAMH

http://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19#coping

http://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19#quarantine

  • CMHA- Mental Health & Addiction Crisis

648 Huron Street

  • Ontario Medical Association

MD Led Virtual Chats: The OMA Physician Health Program invites you to drop in virtually between noon and 1 p.m. each weekday to support one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions will be led by Dr. Kasra Khorasani, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Health Systems and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto.

Meeting Daily from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EDT)

http://php.oma.org/virtual-chats/  – Meeting ID and phone Number updated on link

Enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support by phone, in French or English: toll-free 1-833-456-4566 Available 24/7

  • Finding Services

https://www.ontario.ca/page/mental-health-services-children-and-youth#section-0

For people between the ages of 17-25, for post-secondary students in Ontario and provides professional counseling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being. This is free, confidential and anonymous helpline, Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 1-866-925-5454

 

Meant for all ages and provides information about counselling services and supports in your community. Listens, offers support and provide strategies to help you meet your goals. Provides basic education about mental illness Call: 1-866-531-2600

  • CMHA REACH OUT Crisis Hotline- 519-433-2203  (24/7)

Walk In’s welcome at 648 Huron St (24/7).

  • ARK AID STREET MISSION

Providing evening meal and some take home meals when available.

If you or someone you care about are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call:

  • 911
  • Visit the disaster distress Helpline or call 1-800-985-5990 and TTY 1-800-846-8517.
  • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

better care. safer work.

Nursing homes should be a safe place to live.

In a perfect world, this would go without saying. But in Ontario today, the ratios of staff to residents is simply too high to provide safe care with dignity.

Please visit CareTakesTime website for more info. Click button below.

Stay Up to Date

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