Ontario Government Must Fix Long-Term Care Staffing To Stop The Spread

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

“We do need to do everything possible to protect seniors in long-term care. From the beginning of this pandemic, we should have restricted workers to one long-term care or group living facility each, and mandated higher wages and scheduling practices that would allow them to do that.”                                                                 – Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

From the Office of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted April 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the province can save lives with a directive to have long-term care workers each work in one home only, and pay them enough to be able to do that.

“We do need to do everything possible to protect seniors in long-term care. From the beginning of this pandemic, we should have restricted workers to one long-term care or group living facility each, and mandated higher wages and scheduling practices that would allow them to do that.

“If the premier is now also worried about the low wages paid to health care heroes in long-term care there’s a simple solution: give them a raise. Now.”

Long-term care staff are typically paid barely above minimum wage, and facilities often schedule each staffer for only part-time hours. Until the government requires that to change that, staff will continue to be forced to work at several facilities to cobble together enough wages to get by.

The Official Opposition NDP is calling for major changes and investments, including:

·        Immediately increase salaries for staff in order to retain and attract workers, including Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs)

·         Assign each staff member to one facility only, to eliminate the potential for staff to transmit COVID-19 to other facilities, ending all exceptions

·         Standardize visitor policies province-wide to prevent COVID-19 transmission from visitors and volunteers, seeking Public Health determination on the safest policy

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 “A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

3 responses to “Ontario Government Must Fix Long-Term Care Staffing To Stop The Spread

  1. We have undervalued the role of caregivers, whether it is personal aides, long-term care staff or nurses, for far too long. They need full-time jobs, with full-time benefits that pay decent wages.

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  2. I agree that the system is broken, and has been for many years. Wages for the most poorly paid workers need to be increased, and they should not be forced to work in multiple facilities (whether several long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, or a mix of them). However, the statement “staff will continue to be forced to work at several facilities to cobble together enough wages to get by” makes the assumption that they work exclusively in the health care sector on a full-time basis. They might instead choose to work part-time and have a small business.

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    • There may be small business owners who “choose” to work part-time as PSWs, but I’d be very surprised. There’s a big difference between being your own boss, and having to account to your employer for every minute of your working day, especially at minimum wage. Part-time workers tend to be an exploited underclass, so poorly paid and with so few benefits that that they must work more than one job.

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