SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION CANADA

SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION CANADA

February 17, 2009 09:00 ET

SEIU Holds Rally at MPP's Office on Looming Home Care Strike

BARRIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2009) - SEIU and home care workers staged a rally in front of Barrie MPP Aileen Carroll's office to highlight a province-wide home care strike that could leave thousands of people without the home care services they need.

Home care workers from the Barrie area say the travel time issue is one of the biggest concerns among home care workers. Driving from town to town is time consuming and means lost time. The bigger problem with home care is that the employers don't consider travelling as part of the job.

Nearly 46,000 Ontarians, people such as seniors and adults and children with disabilities access home care services provided by SEIU members. The services they provide allow people to remain in the comfort of their own homes instead of being admitted to hospitals. As a result, home care takes pressure off Ontario's health care system and ultimately saves valuable health dollars.

In a 2006 report former Health Minister Elinor Caplan recommended that the Ontario government properly compensate workers for time spent travelling to provide care. Two years later the issue hasn't been resolved.

Last summer, 88 per cent of Red Cross home care workers voted to go on strike unless these issues were addressed. After months of bargaining it's clear that a resolution isn't possible unless the government acts. Communities that would be affected include Brampton, Kitchener, Windsor, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Timmins, Peterborough, Cornwall, Barrie, Burlington and other communities around the province.

"If something doesn't change a strike is inevitable," said Cathy Carroll, Secretary Treasurer of SEIU Local One. "All funding for home care services comes from the provincial government. We're calling on the McGuinty Government to follow the recommendations of the Caplan Report and stop a strike before it happens."

SEIU members across Ontario will be meeting with their local MPPs in a campaign to improve standards and quality in home care. For more information visit www.runningonempty.ca

Contact Information

  • Cathy Carroll
    Sec. Treasurer
    (416) 529-1488
    or
    Pat Chastang
    Media Relations
    (416) 709-0501