CORNWALL, Ontario – Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local council 3389 representing Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), Personal Support Workers (PSWs), and other long-term care support workers picketed outside of Parisien Manor, a long-term care home in Cornwall, demanding better working conditions and more resources.
The picket, which took place on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, saw about two dozen picketers marching and carrying signs outside of the long-term care home.
Charlene Van Dyk, Chair of the Healthcare Workers Co-ordinating committee explained that they felt that the province of Ontario was failing seniors in long-term care homes.
“We are tired of not being able to provide the care that seniors need,” she said, explaining that according to CUPE’s calculations, the actual provincial budget for long-term care has been reduced by three per cent in real terms over the past year.
Van Dyk urged the government to pass Bill 13, also known as the Time to Care Act, which would require a minimum of four hours of direct care for residents.
“The legalization of four hours of care would reduce under staffing and incidents of violence,” she said. “This government has promised 15,000 new long-term care beds, but have added zero so far this year.”
“Vulnerable seniors aren’t getting the care they deserve because of a government that doesn’t understand their needs, and workplace conditions that don’t respect our realities as front line health care providers,” reads a statement from Sylvie Point, President of CUPE Local 3389. “We the healthcare sectors rally to bring awareness to the crisis in long-term care, with staffing shortages and unrealistic demands from the ministry and the employers.”