February 14th, 2020

// Ford Government Taking Hard-Earned Wages Away From Frontline Long-Term Care Workers

Ford Government Taking Hard-Earned Wages Away From Frontline Long-Term Care Workers

RICHMOND HILL, ON, Feb. 13, 2020 /CNW/ - Doug Ford's government at Queen's Park is taking away modest, fairly negotiated wage increases, from nearly 100 frontline healthcare workers at Mariann Home, a not-for-profit long-term care facility in Richmond Hill, despite the employer's willingness to provide them.

On average, personal support workers (PSWs) will lose 32 cents per hour, while RPNs will lose 19 cents per hour, as a result of Minister Bethlenfalvy's draconian enforcement of Bill 124.

Despite the mutually negotiated and agreed upon contract, Ford's ministers are refusing to allow it, pointing to Bill 124, which was forced through the legislature by PC MPPs in November 2019 and limits all non-profit public sector employees to a 1 per cent compensation cap per year.

Mariann Home's willingness to provide a greater than 1 per cent total compensation increase per year is rooted in the acute challenge of recruiting and retaining frontline healthcare workers who earn less than $40,000 per year in most cases. Bill 124 excludes for-profit nursing homes, which gives them a recruitment and retention advantage over not-for-profit facilities like Mariann Home, who can't because they are being forced by the Ontario Government to provide lower wages.

"Shame on the Ford government for literally taking money right out of the pockets of frontline healthcare workers in need for a raise," said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare. "It's simple, when healthcare workers cannot support their own families, they leave in search of more secure employment. While we applaud the employer's willingness to take steps to remedy the causes that contribute to the ongoing retention crisis, Doug Ford's actions mean there will be fewer workers on the frontline to deliver quality care for seniors. With fewer healthcare workers on the job, he's literally putting everyone's safety at risk. Doug Ford has shown us once again that he doesn't care about working-class people."

SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union's members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the management and delivery of patient and client care. www.seiuhealthcare.ca

SOURCE SEIU Healthcare


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