Fighting Back on Health Care
April 21, 2009, 4:05 PM EST
Lewenza urged delegates to build support and respect for health care workers and the important work they do.
"I am so proud to stand up today and see our health care local unions, health care councils, and health care representatives joining health care coalitions and other local unions in the fight back against privatization, in the fight back on the need to enhance hours of care in long-term care facilities and in the fight back campaign to increase funding in health care facilities," Lewenza said.
In the recent Ontario budget, for example, a 2.1 per cent increase was approved for hospitals, when the reality on fixed costs alone means that a 3.5 per cent increase is needed.
"This means that workers and services are going to be eliminated," Lewenza said, stressing this will be the case in other provinces as well.
"Patient care is going to be jeopardized through no fault of our members. Yet, you know what? Those members go to work everyday, whether it is the person at the front desk, the person cleaning the floor, or whether it is an RPN or an RN, those workers go to work everyday because they love their jobs and because they have a sense of responsibility to their residents."
Delegates re-affirmed their commitment to the CAW Dignity is a Minimum Standard campaign, which calls on the Ontario government to establish minimum staffing levels for long-term care facilities and an elimination of financial barriers or restrictions to seniors entering long-term care facilities.
A 17-minute video on CAW health care workers called Health Care Workers Speak Up was produced for Council, highlighting the various jobs CAW members perform as well as the union's bargaining and political action work in the sector.