While welcoming the report to ”blow the whistle on the disturbing conditions” in Ontario’s long-term care homes, SEIU Healthcare president Sharleen Stewart says the union and its frontline workers have been ringing the alarm bells throughout the crisis.
”Unfortunately, we have had to fight the provincial government every step of the way to ensure long-term care companies were keeping workers and residents safe,” Stewart says in a statement.
SEIU Healthcare represents over 60,000 members who work in long-term care, retirement homes, homecare, hospitals and community services.
Meanwhile, Natalie Mehra says the allegations, in the report on five GTA long-term care homes where the military has been helping staff, are ”horrific” but don’t come as a surprise.
”It’s incredibly frustrating, it’s unspeakable,” adds the executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition which represents over 400 organizations and individuals.
”At every step the provincial response has been slow, it’s been in adequate, and it’s been ad hoc,” adds Mehra.
The Ontario Personal Support Workers Association, which represents over 41,000 members, says it’s been working through these difficult conditions for years, but that they’ve worsened the last three months.
In a statement, the OPSWA says it stands together ”with the Canadian Armed Forces to try to better the situation and increase the quality of care for all of our parents, grandparents and our frontline PSWs.”