TORONTO — Ontarians are being urged to join a growing call for profound changes to the province’s long-term care system that would end profit-making in the provision of residential care. Today, SEIU Healthcare, CUPE, and Unifor, unions that represent workers across the long-term care sector, invited families to demand reforms from Premier Doug Ford so money goes to better care for seniors, not profits for corporate shareholders.
Beginning with impactful television advertising, Care not Profits calls on Ontarians to urge the province to use funding, currently going to profit, for direct reinvestment in what matters most – increased resident care and an end to profit in long-term care.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Ontario’s worst hit nursing homes were all for-profit facilities. Data tells us that for-profit long-term care corporations have 17 per cent fewer staff than non-profit nursing homes. Yet, while families and care staff were dying throughout the pandemic, three of the largest long-term care businesses combined paid shareholders more than $58 million in dividends in the past three months alone. These are facts.
The new, 60-second ad called “Care not Profits” will first air during the Toronto Blue Jays season opener on July 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays.
To view the ad and learn more, visit carenotprofits.ca
The full, high-definition broadcast from this morning’s campaign launch, including the 60-second ad, will be available for media to download here: https://bit.ly/39lxVfU
“In the worst crisis the long-term care sector has ever faced, for-profit companies chose money for shareholders over better care for seniors. The $58 million dollars in dividends for-profit nursing home companies sent to shareholders is money that should have gone to better wages for low-paid workers, more full-time employment and higher staffing levels, adequate supplies of PPE, air-conditioning for residents, and improved infectious disease protocols. That it didn’t is cause enough to phase these companies out of the care sector. Healthcare workers and families deserve better.” – Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare
“The crisis at the bedside has been ignored for far too long. The care conditions of residents, and the working conditions of their care givers, are simply unforgivable. We need staffing standards. We need accountability and we need a commitment from Doug Ford’s government that change will happen—that they will improve conditions—by putting in place proper regulation, proper inspection, and adequate funding. But his government must also guarantee that every single public dollar put into long-term care is used to enhance the quality of life for residents and the working conditions of the staff. And that means putting an end to for-profit long-term care.” – Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Ontario
“Following the tragic events in nursing homes across Ontario during the pandemic, the general public now knows what unions, long-term care workers and resident families have known for many years: for-profit care puts lives in danger. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the millions of dollars lining executives’ pockets and rewarding shareholders as residents and overworked staff are left without the dignity and respect they deserve. We must learn from this crisis and that starts with Doug Ford taking action to put people before profits.” – Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor
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