SEIU Local 1 Canada

SEIU Local 1 Canada

September 17, 2009 19:27 ET

SEIU Local 1 Canada: Health Minister Puts Seniors at Risk by Turning Blind Eye

QUEEN'S PARK, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2009) - Ontario Health Minister David Caplan is putting the lives of the sick and elderly at risk by allowing fly-by-night companies to run training of personal support workers and delivery of home care and retirement home services in our province, according to SEIU, which represents 46,000 personal support workers and healthcare professionals in Ontario.

"Seniors, disabled, and children are being put at risk because Health Minister David Caplan is too busy handing out contracts to friends of the Liberals who want to make a quick buck off the most vulnerable in our society while charging their lavish lifestyles to taxpayers," said a spokesperson for SEIU, the union that represents Personal Support Workers.

The warning from SEIU followed an in-depth investigation published this week by the Toronto Star that laid bare the risks to the most vulnerable in our society because of unregulated self-styled schools operating under the nose of the Liberal government.

The revelations from the Star investigation are likely to worry anyone with elderly parents or infirm family members, according to SEIU.

"Fortunately, most personal support workers and healthcare professionals are well-trained and committed experts. But increasingly those health workers are bringing forward concerns about unscrupulous private operators who are cutting corners while Health Minister David Caplan turns a blind eye," said a spokesperson for SEIU.

The union said it had made repeated appeals to Health Minister David Caplan to improve training of personal support workers (PSWs) and take steps to bring stability to staffing levels in the home care and retirement sectors.

"SEIU saw Caplan and made a recommendation to involve Ontario's health care unions in the province's PSW education programs by creating apprenticeships and by job shadowing already qualified PSWs," said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Local 1 Canada.

The union was on the front lawn of Queen's Park today with allies gathering signatures for a petition calling for improved access to affordable training and certification of personal support workers and health aids and appropriate regulation of home care and retirement home providers.

Contact Information

  • SEIU Canada
    Christine Miller
    416-576-5041