Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

July 03, 2008 13:23 ET

OPSEU: Ontario Needs Nursing Home Staffing Standard Now

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 3, 2008) - It's time Ontario fulfills its promise of a staffing standard in long term care, says the Ontario Public Service employees Union.

Responding to a Canadian Press story revealing widespread violation of many serious standards set for the nursing home sector, OPSEU says the government has delayed long enough.

"George Smitherman promised that a minimum average staffing standard was coming during the last election," said OPSEU 1st Vice-President Patty Rout. "Instead he hired Shirley Sharkey to extricate the government from that promise with a sham review."

OPSEU says new health minister David Caplan should make long term care an urgent priority and bring Ontario's nursing home sector in line with most jurisdictions in North America by adopting such a standard.

Sharkey's report instead recommends deregulating the sector, opting for a more lax approach to enforcement. Fobbing off the need for more staff, she recommends the province "develop strategies" to increase recruitment and retention, but offers no specifics.

"While the industry tries to minimize these violations by highlighting the most trivial infractions, there is no question the province's nursing home residents are being placed at risk with substandard care. The proof is right here," says Rout.

OPSEU rejected an invitation by the government to nominate individuals last month to an implementation committee set up to carry out the Sharkey report.

"Why would we want to sit on a committee to implement something most Ontarians are against?" asks Rout.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
    Rick Janson
    (416) 443-8888 ext 8383