KINGSTON, ON – Fear of losing patient care hours and reprisals from employers is silencing a vulnerable – mostly female – home care workforce from speaking out about their working conditions and low wages, and the safety risks they face working alone in peoples’ homes, including violence, say organizers of a Kingston-based community project.
Kingston minimum wage activists and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have teamed up on the unique initiative that provides home care personal support workers (PSWs) and registered practical nurses (RPNs), job search resources, legal and employment rights advice, and health and safety supports.
“Now we are also providing information about the massive health system changes the Ontario Conservative government is pushing to make. Unpaid mileage, inconsistent hours, no benefits, these challenges faced by home care staff every day, will intensify if this overhaul of health care happens the way it’s designed to with the expansion of for-profit home care,” says Sharon Richer, secretary-treasurer of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), the hospital division of CUPE in Ontario.
A media conference, that includes front-line home care staff, will be held on Friday, March 1 (2019) at 11:30 a.m. in the Kingston City Hall Councillors’ Lounge, will give details of the project and release a Kingston-area telephone helpline number that home care workers can call for assistance.
The project group is following up Friday’s media conference with a day-long conference on violence. It is being held at Kingston City Hall, 216 Ontario Street, in the Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 2 (2019).
For more information, please contact:
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300, [email protected]