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Pinecrest Nursing Home workers take to the street to seek fair deal

September 6, 2022 | Media Releases

PLANTAGENET, Ontario – Employees of Pinecrest Nursing Home in eastern Ontario will be picketing outside the facility on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, to bring awareness to their efforts to improve working conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO: Pinecrest Nursing Home employees, members of the United Steelworkers

WHAT: Information picket, re: working conditions

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Pinecrest Nursing Home, 101 Parent St., Plantagenet, Ont., K0B 1L0

Throughout the pandemic, the 55 workers at Pinecrest Nursing Home have faced tremendous challenges in providing quality care to the facility’s vulnerable residents. Pinecrest is a private, for-profit facility with 60 long-term care beds.

The workers, members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 9211, have attempted to negotiate a fair collective agreement with their employer over the last several months, without success. Pinecrest’s management has demanded concessions from workers that include cuts to sick pay and sick time accumulation, and placing an unfair burden on employees to access prescription medication.

The workers will hold an information picket on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., outside the Pinecrest Nursing Home, 101 Parent St., Plantagenet, Ont.

“These caregivers have struggled through unprecedented challenges and hardships during the pandemic to deliver care to their residents and to keep this home operating,” said Diane Gariépy, President of USW Local 9211 and member of the union’s bargaining committee.

“It’s shameful that this company would try to weaken the working and living standards of front-line workers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for the last 2½ years. It’s time for the employer to recognize the hard work of its employees and to negotiate a fair deal,” Gariépy said.

The parties are scheduled to resume bargaining with the assistance of a Ministry of Labour conciliator on Sept. 9, 2022.

“There’s still time for the employer to retract its concessions and to reach a fair deal. Workers are simply asking their employer to do the right thing and treat them with respect and dignity,” Gariépy said.

As health-care workers, the Pinecrest Nursing Home employees are denied the right to strike under Ontario government legislation. As a result, they’re taking community action to draw attention to the serious issues they face. The workers have made it clear that, if not for being denied the right to strike, they would consider such action to fight for changes needed to improve conditions for themselves and the residents in their care.

“It’s shocking that a profitable corporation wants to worsen the working conditions of long-term caregivers who continue to be front-line heroes during this pandemic,” said Myles Sullivan, the USW’s Ontario Director.

“The working conditions in long-term care homes directly affect the quality of services delivered to residents. It’s time for the owners of Pinecrest Nursing Home to recognize this fact and to treat its staff with fairness and respect, which will have a positive impact for workers, residents and the company,” Sullivan said.

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Media Contact

Myles Sullivan, USW Ontario Director, 416-243-8792

Richard Leblanc, USW Area Co-ordinator, Eastern Ontario, 613-551-5000, rjleblanc@usw.ca

Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

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