CAW Encouraged by Sharkey Report, But Minimum Standards Still an Issue



    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - The CAW welcomed the long-awaited Shirlee
Sharkey report and its call for additional support to improve the quality of
care in long-term care homes, but the union is very disappointed the report
fails to call for the reinstatement of minimum staffing standards.
    "The recommendation to achieve a provincial average of 3.5 hours of
direct care for residents is a welcome step towards ending the deficiencies in
this province," said Bob Chernecki, assistant to CAW National President Buzz
Hargrove. "It also holds the long-term care sector accountable for resident
health and well-being."
    The recommendations require that existing care levels of 2.85 hours in
2007; along with announced staffing commitments for another 0.40 hours; be
supplemented with another 0.25 hours over the next 4 years in direct
"hands-on" care.
    So far, progress has been slow in responding to these issues, said
Chernecki. Over the past two years, direct care staffing levels in Canada have
only increased from 2.8 to 2.85 hours or 1.8%.
    "The success of the Sharkey report will ultimately be determined by the
commitment of the Ministry to quickly provide the necessary funding to
increase staffing hours on the front-lines," said CAW Local 302 President and
member of the CAW National Executive Board Nancy McMurphy.
    The Sharkey report falls short of recommending a regulatory minimum
staffing standard of 3.5 hours for direct resident care, a provision that the
CAW has long campaigned for.
    "The report speaks to the pressing need for increased staffing ratios and
the fact that existing staff-to-resident ratios in Ontario facilities are too
low, but does not ensure a regulatory guarantee for residents, which is very
disappointing," said McMurphy.
    The CAW will continue to call on the Minister to re-establish a minimum
staffing standard, along with other appropriate initiatives such as staff
training; collaborative team-based care and staff planning recommended by the
Sharkey report, said Chernecki.
    Shirlee Sharkey, President and CEO of St. Elizabeth Health Care was
appointed in 2007 to serve as a facilitator to obtain stakeholder and expert
opinion and advise the Minister of Health on current research and practice
concerning staffing standards in long-term care homes.
    The CAW represents 16,000 workers in Ontario's long-term care sector.





For further information:

For further information: Angelo DiCaro, CAW Communications, (416)
606-6311; or Shannon Devine, (cell) (416) 302-1699

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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