The Sharkey Report: A Few Steps in the Right Direction At a Very Slow Pace - SEIU



    TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - "The Sharkey Report's recommendations on
standards and care for Ontario nursing homes will improve nursing home
conditions for residents and staff in nursing homes, but at a very slow pace,"
says Sharleen Stewart, President of the Service Employees International Union
Local 1 Canada, Ontario's largest private sector nursing home union. "We are
disappointed that Ms. Sharkey made no recommendation on a minimum staffing
regulation for all Ontario nursing homes."
    "Only a minimum staffing standard will ensure accountability and
compliance for all nursing homes in Ontario to deliver a specific amount of
daily care," says Stewart.
    "Under Sharkey's recommendations, private nursing homes will continue to
provide less care than Municipal Homes for the Aged and charitable homes
currently provide," Stewart says.
    Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care George Smitherman bases the
number of care hours on the number of hours funded. This is considerably
higher than the actual number of care hours available to residents on a daily
basis. SEIU surveys show private nursing homes deliver as little as 2.2 hours
of care per day.
    Smitherman claims that in four years the care provided nursing home
residents will be approximately 3.5 hours of care per day, but he has included
therapists, nutritionists, social workers and other allied health
professionals in this calculation.
    SEIU knows that what nursing home residents require are more hands on
care staff such as registered practical nurses and PSWs," Stewart says.
    Under the current Ontario budget each nursing home will only increase its
staff by approximately 1.2 full-time equivalent PSWs per day.

    SEIU Local 1 Canada is a 45,000 Ontario wide local union dedicated to
servicing members in the health care sector. 15,000 members work in nursing
homes.





For further information:

For further information: Sharleen Stewart - (905) 660-1800 Ext.308; John
Van Beek - (905) 660-1800 Ext.319, (416) 805-0670 (cell)


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