Rally in London, Ontario. for long-term caregivers

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At least 40 people held an information picket in London, Ontario. Long-term care facility on Wednesday afternoon.

The protest on Southdale Road East aims to raise public awareness of long-term care conditions and workers’ wages.

“When it comes to negotiation, we want long-term care workers to be given the respect and dignity they deserve so they can provide appropriate care to their residents,” said Andy Savela, director of health care at Unifor Canada.

Savela says current contracts that Unifor negotiates for workers do not reflect inflation.

“That’s not a way to recognize people who are so-called health heroes,” he says.

Lisa Tucker, president of Unifor 302, which represents long-term care workers across London, shares Savela’s concerns.

She says promises by the provincial government to improve staffing and facilities in nursing homes have not materialized. Savela is also calling for a wage increase beyond small increases during COVID-19, arguing that private operators could help.

“It’s possible they’ll get more into their profits, but they won’t do that because it will hurt their shareholders,” she says.

Nurses do not have the right to strike in Ontario.

Wednesday’s protest is one of several planned ahead of the upcoming provincial election.