Saskatchewan—The Health Standards Organization (HSO) has released their highly anticipated Long-Term Care (LTC) standards. SEIU-West strongly supports these standards and encourages that they be made mandatory across Canada.
“We strongly support the HSO’s evidence-based recommendation that LTC residents should receive an average of 4.1 hours of direct care per day,” says Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Saskatchewan had guidelines requiring LTC facilities to provide at least a specified minimum number of hours of care per resident per day. These were repealed in 2011, with the claimed goal of giving home operators more ‘flexibility’.”
SEIU-West represents approximately 7,000 LTC staff across Saskatchewan in more than 50 job classifications, from members of the nursing team to housekeepers and cooks to maintenance workers and schedulers.
“The HSO’s standard, which talks about ‘ensuring a healthy and competent workforce’ is especially strong, and very welcome to our members who have been working valiantly to keep LTC homes operating throughout the pandemic,” adds Cape. “The standards directly target issues we have been raising for the past decade, including chronic short-staffing, recruitment and retention challenges, and high risks of occupational injury. A safer workplace for staff means a safer environment for long-term care residents to live in and we’re glad to see that link being made in these standards.”
LTC facilities are a pivotal part of the health care system, especially as our population ages. Many seniors are waiting at home or in a bed in an acute care facility for a place in an appropriate, home-like LTC facility centered on their needs. Many care staff and support staff move between work in acute care, LTC, and home care on an annual, weekly, or even daily basis.
“We call on the federal and provincial governments to sit down with healthcare workers to discuss the adoption of these standards a condition of further funding for provinces and compliance measures as a condition of licensure and funding,” continues Cape.
Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) represents over 13,000 people across Saskatchewan. They include people who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes, and other sectors. They are joined by one colour—purple—and one union, SEIU-West. Visit PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about SEIU-West members.
For more information, contact:
Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2244
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