Long Term Care Facilities
It's Our Nature to Care
A newsletter for OPSEU Members working
in Long Term Care
New Long Term Care Homes Act – Improvement or Not?
Our provincial government has passed
the long awaited Long Term Care Homes Act (LTCHA). This new legislation
encompasses legislation from several Acts including Nursing Home, Long Term Care
and Homes For the Aged and Rest Homes Acts. The Nursing Manual is also due to be
removed from facilities as well.
Your Sector Executive submitted
submissions so that workers’ views and concerns could be expressed.
In our submission in the second set
of the draft regulations, we were concerned about the qualification article
regarding Personal Support Workers (PSW). It stated that after March 31, 2011,
any new hire for PSW classification must have that certificate/diploma listing
specifics from the course/clinical hours. In the LTCHA
Sec.47 (3), there is an additional
subsection which read, “Despite subsection (1), a licensee may hire as a
personal support worker or to provided personal support services, (a) a
registered nurse…..(b) a person who was working or employed at a long term care
home at any time in the 12 month period preceding the first anniversary of the
coming into force of this section as a personal support worker and who has at
least three years of full time experience, or the equivalent considering part
time experience, as a personal support worker;”. This is good news. The concern
that your executive had was there is a large number of seasoned staff who
received their education during the Health Care Aide years. This will now give
those HCAs a chance to be hired at a new workplace. Please note the word ‘may’.
Under Continence Care, Section
51(2)(f) states, ‘there are a range of continence care products available and
accessible to residents and staff at all times, and in sufficient quantities for
all required changes’. This means that you should not have to search or hoard
the products. Most of us have experienced times when the product is just not
there. Someone, usually the Nurse in Charge during non-business hours, has a
master key. Staff should not be forced to waste valuable time looking for
Another missing item is the
specifics under Basic Accommodation relating to personal grooming and hygiene
supplies. The Nursing Manual list key items such as skin care lotions and
powders, shampoos, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, denture cup and
cleansers, toilet tissue, facial tissue, hairbrush, combs, razors, shavers,
shaving cream and feminine hygiene products. The new legislation, under Section
44, refers to supplies that meet the needs of residents. Referring to the manual
will assist you when needing supplies that may be purchased by families.
There are some good points to this
new Act, however, we still have no minimum care standards. The demand for 3.5
hours per day for care is not mandated. Advocates everywhere wonder why the
government has not lived up to their campaign promise from two elections ago.
The LTCHA can be found at
OPSEU Rallies In Support of Local 299 Members
By Joan Corradetti
Lee Manor Home for the Aged in Owen Sound voted to join OPSEU
two years ago. This ended 23 years with Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC)
as their union.
Recently, CLAC infiltrated Lee Manor and somehow, barely,
collected enough signed cards to apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to
schedule a Displacement Vote. In anticipation of the open period, CLAC spread
rumours throughout the nursing home and criticized the contract awarded by the
arbitrator to undermine OPSEU. But the members were not buying it.
OPSEU increased its share of the vote from about 75 per cent
in 2008 to almost 80 per cent of the vote with an overwhelming 90 per cent
turnout from the 180-member unit.
The Local Executive, led by President Annamarie Hampton-Alcock
and LEC members Kelly Byers, Roberta Lemay and Todd Clouatre, rallied and
persevered with the assistance of OPSEU staff and members. The support they
received from the President right through the ranks including Organizing, Pay
Equity, Communications and EBMs all played a key role in getting accurate
information out to their members. As Chair, I was asked to attend and assist
the local wherever I could. It was an honour and pleasure to witness the
solidarity within that local.
Hampton-Alcock said: "A strong mandate was received from the
members that they are happy with OPSEU. The members wants a strong voice and
union to help them fight this employer. As the workload increases in the home
and more employees suffer injuries, they want a strong force to back them. This
was lacking in the 23 years prior with CLAC. The members are strong, united and
willing to stand together."
Two weeks after the employer witnessed the strong mandate for
OPSEU, they settled six grievances to our satisfaction. One more indication of
the importance of having the members mobilized behind OPSEU as their union of
Legislative Changes to the Workplace Safety
Insurance Act (WSIA)
By Sheri Perreault
The Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB)
has done some research on the implemented Return To Work (RTW) process that most
workplaces currently have. The result is that most RTWs are not successful. It
was found that a lot of workers, employers, worker representatives (union) were
not aware of their rights and obligations. This is now being called Work
Reintegration. Also, it is now legislated that WSIA and Occupational Health and
Safety Act work together in protecting the workers.
The new WSIB policies now outline clearly the
responsibilities of each person involved in the RTW process. The purpose of this
is for all to work together to get the injured worker back to work safely and
Legislation now includes that the union has a
legal responsibility to assist the injured worker with the accommodation
process. On the Form 6, there is a spot where the injured worker authorizes
their worker representative to speak with the Board on the injured workers
It is suggested that all worker
representatives take the time to familiarize themselves with the new changes. To
see all the changes visit www.wsib.on.ca ,
www.ohrc.on.ca . Let’s
get our members back to work safely
Around The Sector
Meaford Long Term Care
Local 289 (Meaford Long Term Care) is one of
the newest OPSEU units in this sector and unionized for the first time in 2008.
In 2010 we achieved our first contract in the Home after many delays due to
having to proceed to interest arbitration. In the end the contract brought total
wage increases of more than 5.1 per cent (over 28 months) and the contract
Most importantly, the contract brought the
home much closer to industry standards in key areas such as part time
pay-in-lieu, uniform allowance, and the all-important dental plan.
Diane Wark, chair of the bargaining team,
elected president of the Local in 2010. Diane and her team are closely managing
the transition to a fully unionized environment with a working collective
agreement and the resulting growing pains. This year the members will be
preparing to go to the table once again for a renewal agreement.
OPSEU represents two long term care
facilities run by the County of Grey. The smaller of the two homes is Grey
Gables in Markdale. Staff there are members of Local 266. The contract at this
Home will be arbitrated in March 2011. Outstanding union issues include catching
up to the wages in the other County Homes in Grey and Bruce Counties. For the
employer, the goal was to greatly reduce the part-time pay-in-lieu. OPSEU would
not accept this concession at the table, although the CAW did accept this in the
one local home they represent. The County’s consultant, Bass Associates,
insultingly told the Grey Gables team at the table that local nursing home staff
were overpaid and asked why they didn’t find another job. One team member did
During the course of bargaining, the County
had a parting of the ways with the former Administrator of the Home. Members are
more optimistic now that a new County CEO and Administrator now in place.
Donna van Eck has been a stalwart Chief
Steward and Tanya Petch has been acting in that capacity through Donna’s
unfortunate absence due to injury.
Lee Manor is the other Home in Grey County
(see article on page 2).
Your Sector Executive
Joan Corradetti, Chair, L261
Regional Municipality of Halton - Allendale
Terri Lynn Long, Vice-Chair, L305
Pines Nursing Home District Municipality of Muskoka
Secretary/Treasurer, L282Regional Municipality of Halton – Post Inn Village
Jackie Lafleur, Communications Coordinator, L668
Independence Centre & Network (ICAN)
Authorized for distribution
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Download this issue .pdf