Hundreds send a message at Home Care rally
Aug 06, 2015
On a drizzle-soaked, foggy morning in downtown Winnipeg, one thing was made very clear: workers and clients are not happy with the current state of Manitoba’s home care program.
Hundreds of home care workers, clients, and supporters turned out for a public rally at the WRHA’s main office with signs that read “Tired of working for free,” “We care for you, who cares for us?” and “Invest in home care workers.”
The large crowd also chanted “enough is enough” and “put the care back in home care” in order to send a message to the Regional Health Authorities and the provincial government that they need to invest more in home care workers and the program.
“If the RHA truly wants to put the care back in home care, they only need to ask you!” shouted MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky to the home care workers in the crowd. “Permanent, full-time workers, scheduled properly, will deliver quality home care that is better for clients, better for workers and better for families. Everyone wins!”
The MGEU Community Support Bargaining Committee – who, along with the Winnipeg Home Care Local 113 Executive, helped organize today’s rally – has been at the bargaining table for two years!
While the government and the RHAs have dragged their feet in negotiations, many trained home care workers have left the field because unresolved scheduling issues mean they’re often on the job for hours more than they’re paid. That means they often work a 9.5 hour day and get paid for 8 hours.
Meanwhile, minimum guidelines for completing tasks have drastically reduced the amount of time workers are given to care for clients, which rushes care and puts the health and well-being of clients at risk.
“Today’s rally was just one more step for us to take as we continue to send
the message to the RHA and government decision-makers that these problems aren’t
going away. The Auditor General’s report from yesterday echoed many of the same
concerns our members have been voicing for years. It’s time to listen to what
our members have been saying.”