SEIU Healthcare prepares for province-wide homecare strike

RICHMOND HILL, ON, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare, reported to the Ontario Ministry of Labour today that bargaining with Red Cross Care Partners has not produced an agreement and her union is taking steps to prepare for a province-wide strike involving 4,500 Personal Support Workers.

In a video statement, Stewart said "We do not take this action lightly, but we have been left with no choice." She reported that RCCP, Ontario's largest homecare agency, will spend half the funds it gets from the province this year, about $72 million, on "administration, company profits and extremely generous executive salaries."

The average wage of PSWs working at RCCP is $15 an hour. The agency is proposing to extend a five-year wage freeze, with no change in working conditions to address the issue of workers having to pay out-of-pocket for gas mileage to visit their clients.

"These are the people who take care of our seniors and who provide the kind of quality homecare services that allow clients to remain healthy and independent, and in their own home," said Stewart.

The video statement can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujaq06EV5-w&feature=youtu.be

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

Video with caption: "VIDEO: SEIU Healthcare prepares for PSW strike". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujaq06EV5-w&feature=youtu.be

SOURCE: SEIU Healthcare

For further information:

Gilleen Witkowski 
SEIU Healthcare 
416-805-0305 
g.witkowski@seiuhealthcare.ca


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