Update: 2-week homecare strike ends as Red Cross contract goes to interest arbitration; fight for justice continues

RICHMOND HILL, ON, Dec. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - "Today, our bold strike is over. We are pleased to announce that thanks to the pressure you put on Red Cross, your contract is going to interest arbitration, the first step in recognizing homecare work as an essential service," said SEIU Healthcare president Sharleen Stewart on Christmas Eve to 4,500 striking caregivers across Ontario.

"You stood up for yourselves. You showed Ontario what personal support workers are made of. We are ending the strike, but continuing the fight for justice for PSWs."

"Homecare PSWs should be compensated at a level similar to that of their colleagues working in nursing homes and hospitals. We hope the arbitrator will come up with a contract favourable to the hard-working caregivers that are on front lines of the healthcare system," added Stewart.

SEIU Healthcare and Red Cross will meet with an arbitrator on January 3, 2014. In the meantime, PSW services resume for thousands of clients across the province.

PSWs received an outpouring of community support from across the province during the two-week strike over poor working conditions.

SEIU Healthcare thanks the clients and families, local politicians, businesses, union allies, labour councils, and MPPs who came out to support the PSWs on the picket lines, and looks forward to ongoing support in their efforts to fix the homecare system.

www.justice4psws.ca
www.j4pswsblog.wordpress.com (photos, stories from the picket lines)
@J4PSWs
@SEIUHealthCan

About SEIU Healthcare

SEIU Healthcare represents more than 55,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union's members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the management and delivery of patient and client care. www.seiuhealthcare.ca

SOURCE SEIU Healthcare

For further information:

Sagal Ali 
SEIU Healthcare 
416-347-4906 
s.ali@seiuhealthcare.ca