On Monday morning, officials from CUPE Ontario, SEIU Healthcare and Unifor held a joint news conference where they called on the Ford government to take action now to improve conditions in long-term care homes before there is a “repeat of death and destruction.”
The unions say that the Ford government can do so my mandating higher staff-to-resident ratios and boosting wages to attract more nurses and personal support workers. They also want the government to abolish privatized long-term care facilities, which they say operate with 17 per cent fewer employees than municipally-run facilities.
“Clearly we have learned nothing from the first wave of this virus and residents and staff are again at risk of losing their lives,” CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick said during the news conference. “It is unconscionable and completely unacceptable. We cannot stand by and allow one more avoidable death or illness. Today we need the government to step up. No more empty promises. We need a government that will put in place guaranteed protections, proper staffing levels and adequate funding.”