Unifor local leaders working in long-term care in Nova Scotia made sure the province’s health minister knew the impact that two years of funding cuts have had on the quality of care for seniors.
Health care workers were bold and heartfelt when they met with Minister Leo Glavine on February 28. Showing the strength of our union, members did not shy away from explaining just how devastating the cuts to funding have been on staffing levels, on patient care, and on food budgets. The minister got an earful.
“This is so unfair to our seniors, and for the government to have said the cuts don’t have an impact on care is ridiculous,” said Linda MacLeod, President of Local 4620. “I’ve worked in long-term care for 27 years and I can tell you that people used to walk into our home and now everyone arrives by ambulance. Greater care is required, yet we’re consistently understaffed and asked to do twelve hours of work in eight.”
Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne was firm as she told the minister and his top officials, including the deputy minister and the heads of continuing care and labour relations, what would address the crisis.
“We want the cuts reversed and we want an investment in long-term care that delivers dignity to residents and seniors, and respect for long-term care providers,” said Payne.
Unifor launched advertisements across the province and on social media to demand the government reverse the cuts. Members have also been meeting with MLAs across Nova Scotia. The union is encouraging residents to sign the online petition directed at Premier Stephen McNeil, and to call their MLA.
The petition and campaign updates can be found at unifor.org/LTC.