CAW Urges Stricter Staffing Regulations for Long Term Care Homes in Ontario

June 17, 2009, 10:20 AM EST

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Draft regulations by the Ontario government must be strengthened to ensure minimum staffing standards for Long-Term Care Homes in the province, CAW President Ken Lewenza says.

"As you are aware, our union has consistently championed re-enactment of a regulatory minimum staffing standard as expressed in our launch of the "Dignity" campaign in 2003," CAW President Ken Lewenza states in a June 9 letter to a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care official.

Lewenza said the CAW is disappointed by draft regulations to accompany the Bill 140 legislation that includes no substantive staffing regulation that would ensure long-term care licensees are obligated to ensure minimum staffing and care standards.

He also said the CAW finds "deeply troubling" the absence of many of the substantive operational standards previously included in the Ministry's own Program Manual for owners.
"This is not a matter of eliminating any 'bureaucratic rules' or the onerous weight of regulation," Lewenza said. "It is simply about permitting corporate operators unfettered right to operate these facilities.Our union will simply not stand by and permit our most vulnerable senior citizens to be abandoned in such cavalier fashion."

Public consensus strongly favours the ministry ensuring it provides independent public regulatory responsibility, including staffing standards, in long term care facilities, he said.

The CAW represents almost 11,000 workers in some 100 long-term care facilities in Ontario.

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