Opportunity To Improve Home Care Now Exists, Don't Let It Slip Away, Says SEIU

    TORONTO, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - The Service Employees International Union Local
1.on, the largest home care union in the province, appreciates the Minister of
Health and Long Term Care, George Smitherman's decision to stop the awarding
of home care service contracts across the province until a review of the
competitive bidding process has been completed.
    "SEIU local 1.on home care workers across Ontario tell me they are sick
of changing agencies every three years and starting all over at the bottom
again. They are tired of not even receiving paid travel time between clients,"
Sharleen Stewart President of SEIU Local 1.on said.
    SEIU Local 1.on agrees with Minister Smitherman when he says he wants to
create stability and enhance continuity of care in the home care sector. We
will go a long way to achieving that objective by removing the competitive
bidding barrier," Stewart said.
    Staff turn-over rates in the home care sector run as high as 60 percent
on an annual basis.
    "If we are to improve home care services in Ontario there must first be a
willingness to develop a stable, professional, dedicated workforce. To
accomplish this government must grant the same employment rights to home care
workers as all other workers enjoy. They must have the right to move with
their jobs, with the same working conditions, seniority, wages and benefits,"
Stewart said.
    The competitive bidding process has cost the Ontario public millions of
dollars because home care agencies spend enormous sums on preparing Request
for Proposals processes.
    "These dollars should be used to provide care and not to line
bureaucrats' or for profit home care providers' pockets," Stewart said.

For further information:

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

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