TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - More than 50 long term care workers, represented by Unifor, will be at Queen's Park today to advocate for four hours of direct care per resident, per day in long term care facilities.
"The long term care sector is at a crisis point – short staffing, more complex cases and stagnant funding have created a situation that is deeply worrisome and unsustainable," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. "Our members have first-hand experience in why we need four hours of direct, hands on care for every resident each and every day."
The union, and its predecessor unions, have been pushing for a minimum standard of care for more than 15 years. On Saturday, the union also launched a #6minchallenge video, highlighting the approximate time that personal support workers have to prepare long term care residents for breakfast in the morning and the need for four hours of direct care. Currently, there is no minimum standard of care across the sector.
Unifor activists will be meeting with members of all parties to push for the following:
1. Pass Bill 33, an Act to amend the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 to establish a minimum standard of four hours of daily care per resident.
2. Quick implementation of Aging with Confidence: Ontario's Action Plan for Seniors. Unifor is calling on the government to establish a swift timeline for the roll-out of four hours of direct care per resident and asks that the daily hours of direct care be specific to staff who directly care for residents and based on the following:
- The standard hours should only include direct, daily hands-on care. It should not include staff involved in administration, management or who do not play a direct role in caring for residents.
- The four hour number should be calculated based on the number of staff hours worked, and not the number of staff hours paid. For example, the calculation must exclude paid time for purposes which do not involve direct patient care (e.g. vacation, holidays, leaves of absence, sick time, training time, etc.).
- The standard of care should be an average for each home, as opposed to a general provincial average, to ensure that there is no disparity between homes.
- The standard of care should clearly and properly capture what four hours actually involves.
3. A staff level of reporting to be transparent and the standard of care must be enforceable.
While the union is encouraged the Ontario government is considering a plan to address needs of seniors, Unifor said it is lobbying MPPs to ensure better and measurable standards are put in place. "The government's new Action Plan for Seniors could be a good step, but it remains unclear that the plan will include four hours of direct care for residents. Without that, Ontario seniors are not getting the care that they need and we will be no further ahead," said Health Care Director Andy Savela.
For more information on Unifor's long term care lobby and the #6minchallenge please visit: unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/care-ontario-seniors.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. In Ontario, Unifor represents approximately 160,000 workers, including 25,000 health care workers and 9,000 of whom work in long term care. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Shannon Devine [email protected] or (cell) 416-302-1699.