Home care contract negotiations resume

    SEIU says outstanding issues are "fundamental tools to do the job."

    TORONTO, July 31 /CNW/ - Representatives of the Service Employees
International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada and the Red Cross agreed to set new
dates for continued contract bargaining.
    "Our members delivered a strong message to both sides of the bargaining
table. Eighty-eight per cent confirmed they would rather go on strike than
abandon their principles," says SEIU Chief Negotiator Cathy Carroll.
    The key issues on the table for SEIU's Home Care Providers are
compensation for travel time and adequate compensation for mileage.
    Typically home care workers spend hours of their workday travelling to
and from clients' homes, but are not compensated for time spent in travel. In
rural communities the problem is exacerbated by long distances.
    The rising price of gas, combined with the distances required to travel,
are in some cases costing individual home care workers more in out-of-pocket
expenses than what they are earning on the job, SEIU's bargaining committee
members stated.
    "Our negotiating team is made up of Home Care Providers from all across
the province and they are sticking to their priorities of compensation for
travel time and a better deal on mileage. They are the fundamental tools they
need to do their job. It is just that simple."
    "SEIU and the Red Cross are now working toward resolving the critical
issues and agree more dates are needed for more face-to-face discussions,"
says Carroll. "In the meantime, our members are committed to continuing their
regular work in their communities."
    The collective agreement expires at midnight July 31, 2008.

    SEIU represents 3,200 Home Care Providers employed by the Red Cross in 23
branches across Ontario.

    SEIU Local 1 Canada represents 46,000 health care workers in hospitals,
long term care, nursing and seniors' homes, and community services in Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Cathy Carroll, SEIU Local 1 Canada, Bargaining
Team, (416) 529-1488; Barry Smith, SEIU Local 1 Canada, Communications, (416)
528- 9116

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