Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 19, 2008 13:50 ET

Gov't doesn't understand importance of staffing standards says OFL

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) President Wayne Samuelson said that he is both frustrated and angry with the recommendations of the People Caring for People, the Sharkey review of long-term care. In particular there is the statement that:

"We are not recommending that there be a regulation under the Long Term Care Homes Act 2007 that provides a provincial staffing ratio or a staffing standard."

Samuelson said that "this government does not seem to understand the importance of staffing standards as a critical component in the provision of care to Ontarians in the long-term care sector."

He noted that in 2003 before the provincial election in response to a questionnaire from the Ontario Federation of Labour, Dalton McGuinty stated:

"We have a comprehensive plan to improve the quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities. Our plan includes restoring standards and providing the necessary funding to increase the level of nursing care that long-term care residents receive…"

In May 2004, the McGuinty government released their Commitment to Care: A Plan for Long-Term Care in Ontario. This plan did not see the need to include minimum staffing standards.

In 2005, the OFL and its affiliates in the health care sector held seventeen meetings with health care workers across the province on the issue of understaffing. The report entitled Understaffed and under Pressure - a Reality Check by Ontario Health Care Workers was released in October 2005 and a copy was sent to every MPP.

Through this report the OFL became aware of aspects of the continence care policies and practices (the 75% full diaper before replacement) in Long-Term Care Homes. A policy we believe was tied directly to the issue of understaffing. The OFL called on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Human Rights Commission to stand up for Ontarians in these facilities. We are disappointed in their response.

Like many other Ontarians, both individuals and organizations, the Ontario Federation of Labour sees the need for a minimum staffing standard of 3.5 hours per day of nursing and personal care for residents in long-term care facilities. We have all collectively and individually made the case for these standards.

Samuelson said that we must continue to press for minimum staffing standards on behalf of the Ontarians who are residents in long-term care facilities, their families and the dedicated workers who provide the range of needed services.

More information:
Dana Boettger
OFL Communications
416.443.7665 (direct)

Wayne Samuelson
President
Ontario Federation of Labour
416.571.7408 (cellular)

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/For further information: Wayne Samuelson, President
Ontario Federation of Labour
416.571-7408 cellular/ IN: HEALTH, JUSTICE, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Dana Boettger, Communications Director, Ontario Federation of Labour
    Primary Phone: 416-441-2731 ext. 665
    Secondary Phone: 416-443-7665
    E-mail: dboettger@ofl.ca