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Ont. Nurses, PSWs, supporters push for better staffing, wages at for-profit LTC homes

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Long-term care nurses and other health care professionals across the province – including those in northern Ontario – held information pickets on Friday ahead of upcoming contract negotiations.

A group of long-term care nurses and other health care professionals were joined by local MPPs France Gélinas and Jamie West for an information picket outside of Jarlette's Elizabeth Centre in Greater Sudbury's Val Caron community on April 12, 2024. (Amanda Hicks/CTV News Northern Ontario)

A small but mighty group turned out in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron, outside of Jarlette's Elizabeth Centre, a for-profit nursing home.

Union representatives told CTV News that shareholders at for-profit long-term care homes have been benefitting from profits while residents and workers are suffering.

Unionized staff and supports said they are calling for fairer wages, improved staffing ratios and for their employers to put resident care ahead of their profits.

“We want them to turn some of that back to the workers and residents,” said Michelle Beaudry, the president of the local union’s bargaining team.

“They’re making all these profits on the backs of the elderly of our province who are the most vulnerable, the most fragile and they need to put some of that money back.

Nickel Belt MPP and NDP health critic France Gélinas told those in attendance at the picket that she cannot stand for profits being put ahead of care.

“Every resident of long-term care deserves respect,” she said.

“If the owners of long-term care companies put the profit of the shareholders ahead of quality of care, we have to speak up.”

Next week more than 3,000 nurses and personal support workers represented by the Ontario Nurses' Association are heading to bargaining with their corporate employers.

Friday saw 37 information pickets held across Ontario.

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