Media Statement - Setting the record straight: Red Cross Care Partners

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - A renewed contract with our Personal Support Workers represented by SEIU Healthcare has not been reached at this time. While a memorandum of settlement was reached and recommended both by SEIU and by us, as the employer, it was not ratified by the membership.

The Canadian Red Cross and Red Cross Care Partners are very concerned with misinformation being disseminated by SEIU Healthcare to the public and to our employees through media and advertising and we feel compelled to set the record straight on several issues, including the following.

In 2012 the Canadian Red Cross got into the for-profit' home care business by merging with Care Partners.
While Red Cross has long provided personal support services in the province, we have not recently provided nursing care. To fill this gap Red Cross signed an agreement with Care Partners nursing and therapy services to create a new joint entity "Red Cross Care Partners." In addition to being best for our clients, this decision was also in line with government policy and the transformation taking place within the health care sector. Although Red Cross Care Partners is technically structured as a private entity due to the ongoing involvement of Care Partners, our focus remains 100 per cent on improving the quality of care for the Ontario public and our clients. In the case where net profits exist, first consideration is given to reinvestment in the company for the benefit of our clients and employees. Red Cross's remaining portion is reinvested into non-profit programs for clients of Red Cross.
Approximately half of every taxpayer dollar given to Red Cross Care Partners for homecare services goes to administration, including executive salaries and profit.

Suggestions of wasteful and, or, increased administrative spending by Red Cross Care Partners are completely false. In fact 90 per cent of Red Cross Care Partners funding is dedicated to the services our clients receive at home. This includes 78 per cent which goes directly to support Personal Support Workers, and 12 per cent to fund coordinators and supervisors who facilitate in-home visits. An additional 8 per cent of our funding is used to fund administrative costs, which include salaries and facilities.
Statements by the SEIU about salaries out of line with the current environment of restraint in the health care sector are completely false. In fact, there have been no salary increases at Red Cross Care Partners since the company was formed.
During the last two years PSW earnings have been reduced by 7 per cent as a result of a wage freeze, inflation and rising gas prices.

Inflation over the past few years has been exceedingly low. In fact, the current inflation rate is below 1%.
Had the most recent tentative agreement been ratified it would have included wage and mileage increases.

We were notified on Monday evening that SEIU will initiate strike activity beginning Wednesday morning. The safety and well being of our clients is our top priority. We have contingency plans in place and will make every effort to minimize any disruption in service to our clients.

Red Cross Care Partners

  • Red Cross Care Partners (RCCP, was created in Fall 2012 through a consolidation between Red Cross' traditional personal support services with Care Partners' nursing and therapy services, creating one agency that can deliver, on an integrated and coordinated basis, all the home care services clients may require.

  • For the Canadian Red Cross, home health care has long been a service offering and is clearly defined in the organization's priorities. CarePartners has been providing high quality in-home nursing services since 1984.

  • Both organizations recognized that having the ability to provide a full continuum of care to clients in their homes will ensure the best possible care and the best outcomes for the people we serve. In order to do so, the decision was made to merge the homecare services of the two organizations for more integrated, client-centred care.

  • The merger was consistent with the transformation underway in the home care sector whereby service provider agencies are being asked to deliver the full range of services to they can better coordinate care for clients.

  • The personal support and homemaking services of the Canadian Red Cross have been transferred to Red Cross Care Partners.  Canadian Red Cross is a part owner in this company.  This initiative is a social enterprise of the Canadian Red Cross - a concept that is becoming well established as an innovative way for non-profit organizations to ensure sustainability while offering a clear social benefit.  In the case where net profits exist, first consideration is given to reinvestment in the company for the benefit of our clients and employees. As a shareholder in Red Cross Care Partners, remaining net profits go toward supporting the work of the non-profit services of the Canadian Red Cross.

  • Services from RCCP - including personal support, chronic illness management, nutrition, and physiotherapy - are provided to clients in urban, rural and remote locations across Ontario.

  • RCCP's Mission: We are dedicated to improving quality of life by supporting health, wellness and independence through the provision of compassionate client-centred health care.

  • RCCP places the client/caregiver experience at the core by providing compassionate, client-focused care. Using a strength-based approach, clients/caregivers are empowered to lead their care and to assume management of their health through teaching, coaching and encouraging.

  • RCCP is committed to exceeding quality expectations of clients/caregivers and funders. Individually and organizationally, we take ownership for our actions and results. We can be relied upon to deliver on our commitments and services.

  • Client services may be covered through local Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) or clients may also choose to purchase services.  RCCP can accommodate clients' needs across a spectrum, from one hour per day to 24-hour care.

  • Regarding donations, Red Cross Care Partners does not hold charitable status and, therefore, will not rely on public donations to support its operations. Other critical services that support seniors and those aging at home such as transportation, health equipment loans and meals on wheels remain within the Canadian Red Cross and will continue to rely on the support of dedicated volunteers and the generosity of donors.

  • All other programs and services of the Canadian Red Cross remain unchanged. These include disaster response; community support services such as transportation, health equipment loans and Meals on Wheels; first aid and water safety training; and violence and abuse prevention. These important programs and services will continue to be offered, thanks to the continued commitment and support of thousands of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

About Red Cross Care Partners

Bringing together the Canadian Red Cross's tradition of compassion, experience and quality personal support services with the respected nursing and therapy services of CarePartners, this new organization is an innovative response to the ever-growing demand for home and community-based health care.  Our comprehensive network of services are available to clients in urban, rural and remote communities across Ontario. Our dedicated team of nurses, therapists and community support workers deliver a broad range of expert and cost-effective services ranging from chronic illness management, nutrition, physiotherapy, to personal grooming and support, all aimed at helping to ensure clients enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with staying in their own homes.

About the Canadian Red Cross:

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 188 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.  In Canada, the Canadian Red Cross responds every four hours to disasters ranging from house fires to forest fires and flooding.  Each year, Red Cross volunteers deliver tens of thousands of hours of community-based health services to those aging or recovering in their own homes from illness or surgery.

SOURCE: Canadian Red Cross

For further information:

Tanya Elliott, Director Communications
Canadian Red Cross


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