CAW Celebrates National Nursing Week

May 10, 2013, 9:30 AM EST

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In honour of National Nursing Week, the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) has re-committed efforts to support Canada's nurses and allied health care workers, as they struggle to improve work standards and provide quality care under austerity budgets.

"With our nation's aging population, combined with fiscal restraint policies of governments across the country, we are seeing our hospitals overburdened and unprecedented wait times for home care and long term care," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. 

Lewenza pledged the union's support for adequate hospital funding and ensuring the federal government lives up to its responsibility to oversee the country's public Medicare system.

"The federal Conservatives have ignored creeping privatization, and it's evident they won't insist provinces follow the guiding principles of the Canada Health Act," said Lewenza. "Harper has effectively dismantled the Health Council of Canada, established after the Romanow Commission, and so far refused the concept of a national Pharmacare program that has the potential to save Canadians $10 billion each year on drug costs."

Lewenza said the workplace challenges nurses and caregivers face are mounting, with respect to heavier care and mental health patients being downloaded into the long-term care system. 

"We will continue to make the argument that government legislate a measurable and enforceable standard of care that protects caregivers and those who receive care," Lewenza said.

To read the CAW statement on National Nursing Week, please visit:

The CAW represents 195,000 members, including 26,000 health care workers across the country.

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