Québec City, February 10, 2022 – Teamsters Union spokesperson Stéphane Lacroix is taking part in a press conference today at the National Assembly of Québec, at the request of Bonaventure MLA, Sylvain Roy, to demand that the Legault government show more respect and dignity to our seniors.
This press conference will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Parliament Hill.
Teamsters Local Union 106 represents the interests of more than 1,250 members working in long-term care facilities. Local Union 106 submitted a position paper in response to the inquest held by Coroner Géhane Kamel, which highlighted numerous shortcomings in the seniors’ housing continuum causing the deaths of thousands of seniors during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This position paper proposes three solutions to achieve a more person-centred approach of dignity, compassion and respect within the seniors’ housing sector:
Launching a public inquiry – A commission of inquiry must be launched to shed light on the system’s shortcomings. Past and present ministers and senior officials must be called upon to contribute to this inquiry in order to fully and impartially investigate the decisions that were made over time and their impact on our seniors during the pandemic.
Establishing national standards – Since the Trudeau government has promised to invest $6 billion in the seniors’ housing sector over the next few years, we believe this money should be connected to national standards that are clear and concise. If we want to improve care and services for seniors and have comparable standards of care and services across the nation, we need to set objectives and a clear plan to meet these standards of care. It will then be possible to apply management and accountability principles. With these standards, we must establish staff to resident ratios to provide the appropriate level of care to meet our seniors’ needs. Care personnel must be provided with the ability to take the time needed to ensure quality services for their clientele.
Implementing a decree – A provincial decree to impose common working conditions in residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs), intermediate resources (RI) and private seniors’ homes (RPA) has become inescapable. A decree would ensure that public and private sector workers have similar working conditions and standards of care. Moreover, such a measure would help with the sector’s labour shortage because it would improve wages for care workers that are equitable.
Launching a public inquiry, establishing national standards and implementing a decree is the only way to truly demonstrate the respect and dignity of our seniors and those who care for them much deserve. Improving the lives of those who care for our seniors will irrefutably improve the lives of the people they care for.
The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly not be the sole public health challenge facing our society in the 21st century, but it must absolutely become the lesson that will ensure we never repeat the same mistakes again. The well-being of our society, the quality of life of our seniors and the efficiency of our health care system are all at stake.
Teamsters Local Union 106 represents the interests of nearly 8,000 workers in several sectors of activity, including the road, school, and intercity transportation industries, long-term care facilities, warehousing, in factories, and in retail stores. It is affiliated with Teamsters Canada and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has more than 1.4 million members throughout North America.