SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

May 21, 2009 16:22 ET

Government Announcement Fails Those Aging at Home and the People Who Care for Them, Says SEIU

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 21, 2009) - The McGuinty government announced plans to expand the Aging At Home program and community care initiatives. The government is in fact trying to pull the wool over our eyes by offering old money for a "new" program. The government committed no new money for home care in its recent budget.

This money for the Aging At Home program is in fact focused on reducing ER wait times instead of aging at home programs. SEIU (Service Employees International Union) believes funds for senior care should be used to improve the quality of care and to create a stable work force in the industry. Wages in home care are so low many home care workers are leaving the profession for better paid jobs. Newly certified PSWs are by-passing home care altogether because they cannot support their families on salaries offered in Ontario. This is causing a crisis in home care.

The announced funding will not do anything to enhance the quality of care homecare clients in Ontario receive if it doesn't enhance the quality of workers lives.. SEIU has held the position that if workers are granted a living wage and benefits, the industry would improve thus improving other health sectors (such as emergency rooms and wait times).

"The government can announce and re-announce funding but, we're not going to see real improvement in the sector until we address the issues facing the women and men who provide the services," said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Local 1.

For over 30 years SEIU has been considered the "health care" union and we are working hard to create a better level of care for patients and good jobs for workers. The Aging At Home program is an attempt by our government to improve health services in Ontario, yet it is smoke and mirrors. SEIU is working to ensure that they deliver quality to workers and patients.

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