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PSWs ask for province to help resolve strike

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 15, 2013 - 3:05 PM |
PSWs in Sudbury, and across Ontario, went on strike Wednesday to protest the wages they receive from Red Cross Care Partners. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

PSWs in Sudbury, and across Ontario, went on strike Wednesday to protest the wages they receive from Red Cross Care Partners. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

SEIU Healthcare union calls on Premier Wynne to hold PSW employer accountable

The president of the SEIU Healthcare union has called on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to take responsibility for the refusal of the province's largest home care agency to find a solution to the province-wide strike by 4,500 personal support workers (PSWs).

PSWs who work for Red Cross Care Partners went on strike Wednesday to protest their compensation.

The starting wage for a PSW with Red Cross Care Partners is $14.17 an hour. After 6,000 hours of work experience they reach the highest wage within the company — $15.02 an hour.

“Red Cross is not working to settle this strike and they have not contacted us since the tentative agreement was rejected,” said Sharleen Stewart, SEIU Healthcare's president, in a release.

“It is time for the premier to get involved,” Stewart added. "While the politicians are on holiday, the home care system is being wrecked by a rogue agency. People affected by this strike will see this as one more example of a failure of accountability for the misuse of public funds.”

Red Cross Care Partners, and the Community Care Access Centre, have had to scramble to find alternate ways to care for their clients.
“The safety and well-being of our clients is our top priority and our focus right now,” Tanya Elliot, a spokesperson for Red Cross Care Partners, told Northern Life.

Clients' situations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, she said, and those who require the highest level of care may be temporarily transitioned to another care provider.
 

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