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More than 200 health care workers rally outside Walkerton senior’s home

Unifor -

Unifor Local 2458 members who work at Brucelea Haven, a Home for the Aged in Walkerton, protested today in response to unfair practices in scheduling and a general lack of respect from the employer.

“Today’s rally is a wake-up call to the employer,” said Tullio DiPointi, President Unifor Local 2468. “We will no longer standby and allow management to disrespect and treat our members poorly.”

The workers, who include personal support workers, registered practical nurses and support staff have been frustrated by a scheduling system that has been implemented that does not respect the terms of their collective agreement. They often work overtime and work short staffed, especially in the PSW classification, which has a direct impact on resident care.

“The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requires residents receive two baths a week. But because of the low staffing levels this minimum standard is not always being met. This is no way to treat the most vulnerable members of our society.”

The employer has agreed to bring in a third party to conduct a Workplace Cultural Assessment to review the values, collaboration, inclusivity, clarity of goals, and rewards as well as leadership transparency within the County homes. The cultural assessment will become the foundation of a plan of action for cultural improvement for staff and management at the home.

The union welcomes this assessment and will be working with the employer to ensure recommendations made are fully implemented.

For more information please visit www.caretakestime.ca

Grand River Hospital workers rally to stop layoffs and service reduction

Unifor -

KITCHENER - On Wednesday, May 22, Grand River Hospital health care workers represented by Unifor, Ontario Nurses Association, Ontario Public Service Employees Union and United Steel Workers will rally to stop layoffs, service reductions and demand the employer respect the commitment made to the unions on moving to the pension plan that covers hospital workers across the province.

"The newly hired CEO at Grand River Hospital is making his mark by issuing lay-offs and reducing services," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "Added to that is his disrespect for his workforce by attempting to stop the move to a pension plan that he himself has the benefit of enjoying.”

The Health Care of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is a joint contributory plan that has been in place for most hospital workers for decades.  It offers greater security to retire, after a career of what can be physically and mentally demanding work. 

Grand River Hospital has given notice of lay-off to 60 employees including RPN’s RN’s clinical assistants, personal support workers and clerical staff.  While some employee’s were redeployed to vacancies, the net result is a reduction in services, as well as future jobs in the communities served by the hospital. 

"Addressing the deficit by harming the quality of patient care is a recipe for disaster. These service reductions and layoffs will increase patient wait times and ultimately hurt the Kitchener-Waterloo community, and is a direct contradiction to the pre-election promises of the Ford Government who committed no public sector workers would lose their job,” continued Rizvi.

For more information please visit www.caretakestime.ca

Join MAHCP at the 2019 Manitoba Filipino Street Festival

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

The Executive Council at the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is proud to announce that this year MAHCP is sponsoring the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, on June 8 and 9!

The 2019 edition of the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, which takes place at the Maples Multiplex (434 Adsum Drive in Winnipeg) marks the eighth year of the event and it keeps getting bigger and bigger! According to festival organizers, last year’s event had an estimated turnout of 15,000 over the two days.

MAHCP will have a booth at the event, where we’ll be handing out MAHCP gear and information, from noon until 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday from noon until 3 p.m.

We’re looking for a handful of volunteers to help at the booth over the two days, so if you’re interested, please email info@mahcp.ca

In addition to the booth, MAHCP will have a group walking in Saturday’s Filipino Cultural Street Parade and we’d like to see as many MAHCP members in that group as possible!

There’s no RSVP required: we’re asking MAHCP members to pick up a free T-shirt at the booth and then assemble for the Parade at the marshalling area at Watson and Jefferson. Please look for our MAHCP flags.

Please see the event poster here.

There will be a stamp competition, as well as entertainment at the main stage, 40 food vendors, and fireworks at 10:15 p.m. on June 8, so it promises to be a good time. See you there, MAHCP members!

National Biomedical/Clinical Engineering Week – May 19 to 25, 2019

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Biomedical engineers study, design, develop and evaluate biological and medical systems and products such as artificial organs, prostheses, medical instruments and information systems.

Clinical Engineers work in large hospitals and are involved in healthcare technology management activities such as management of biomedical or clinical engineering departments, systems integration, capital acquisition and implementation, patient safety, compliance to standards and regulations and risk management.

For more information about these important and interesting professions, please visit the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society website.

Auditor General of Canada raises concern that the tax system isn't keeping pace with the digital economy

NUPGE -

Ottawa (17 May 2019) In its weekly newsletter, Canadians for Tax Fairness has reported that, according to the Auditor General of Canada, Canadian businesses are at an "unfair disadvantage" because the tax system has not kept pace with the digital economy. While Canadian companies are required to collect and remit sales tax on top of income tax, foreign e-commerce corporations such as Netflix and Facebook are not.

CAUT condemns Heritage report on copyright

CAUT -

(Ottawa – May 17, 2019) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is alarmed by recommendations released this week by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage regarding copyright law in Canada.

The report, though produced by a committee mandated to take into consideration the broad range of stakeholder interests — including creators, the public, educators and students — focuses entirely on the interests of big publishers and their lobby groups.

“The report puts the financial interests of publishers over the rights of students and teachers,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson.

The report makes a number of contentious and alarming recommendations, including rolling back fair dealing rights, extending copyright term, and increasing damages for infringement (even for accidental and minor, non-commercial violation of copyright), while also creating several new rights and payments for publishers.

“Restricting user rights is no way to genuinely support independent Canadian creators, and would have a significant negative impact on scholarly communications and the exchange of knowledge,” Robinson says.

He notes the report demonstrates little understanding of the legal development of fair dealing — the existence and parameters of which have been confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada — and ignores the reality at Canadian schools, universities, and colleges across Canada.

“Students and schools are paying unsustainable and unfair amounts of money to publishers. Fair dealing is a necessary carve-out that allows appropriate sharing for educational purposes, yet this too is under attack,” Robinson says. “The claim that fair dealing has anything to do with publishers’ declining profits or the struggle that some creators face in making a decent living is demonstrably false. The recommendations should be rejected in favour of a more balanced and fair approach to copyright law.”

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (cell)

Unifor celebrates Personal Support Worker day

Unifor -

In celebration of Personal Support Worker Day May 19, Unifor celebrates the contributions of the thousands of Unifor members employed as Personal Support Workers (PSWs) in Ontario, Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) in Nova Scotia and health care workers across the country. 

“PSWs and CCAs are the heavy lifters of our health care systems,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “These frontline health care workers provide indispensable support to seniors, people with disabilities, and patients facing chronic health conditions.”

Personal Support Workers and Continuing Care Assistants are vital members of the patient care team. Their work and human touch is critical to and appreciated by residents and clients. Unfortunately due to continued cost cuts, the shortage of these workers to provide home care and long-term care has reached a crisis point.

Unifor is calling on the Ontario government to address the issues facing PSWs in the province immediately. The union has long advocated for a regulatory minimum of four hours per patient of standard of care in long-term care homes.

In late 2017, MPPs of every political stripe passed Bill 33 Time To Care Act through second reading. Is This Bill would have delivered four hours of care to every resident, every day. This minimum, measurable, enforceable standard of care would ensure staff to resident ratios are reduced to allow for safe and dignified care.

“Conservative MPPs unanimously voted in favour of Bill 33 but now have changed their tune by only committing to building more beds and refurbishing older homes. Premier Doug Ford is well aware new beds alone will not solve the ongoing crisis in long-term care. Ford is more focused on providing handouts to his corporate friends than addressing the roots of the problem,” said Dias.

In Nova Scotia, Unifor submitted a formal proposal to the Expert Advisory Panel in Long Term Care, whose final report in January 2019 outlined immediate and urgent action items the government must take in order to address issues of patient safety and worker recruitment and retention. As the six-month mark approaches, Unifor intends to examine how many of the recommendations have been implemented and whether workers and long-term care residents have indeed benefitted.

“Our members in Nova Scotia have sounded the alarm on how urgent the health care crisis has become, particularly in long-term care,” said Dias. “The government has a starting point to address CCA recruitment and retention with the Expert Panel’s review and recommendations. We’re speaking with our members regularly and need to see the government take long-term care issues seriously.”

The union believes the conditions of work are linked to the conditions of care. Front line caregivers experience verbal, sexual and physical violence regularly. Employers tend to ignore and normalize harassment as part of the job of PSWs and CCAs. Unifor demands provincial governments provide adequate funding to ensure care and safe staffing levels in long-term care homes to keep pace with residents’ increasing acuity.

As Ontario moves forward with fundamental health system transformation, we need to respect the lessons of the past, including the recent experiences with health authority amalgamation and centralization experienced in Nova Scotia. Governments must help end the destructive practice of for-profit companies bidding for home care contracts, exerting downward pressure on wages and conditions of employment. When it comes to caring for our parents and grandparents, we must avoid a race to the bottom that offers the least amount of care.

For more information, please visit www.caretakestime.ca

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