Mine Mill & Smelter Workers - Local 598 / C.A.W.

   19 Regent Street South,

Sudbury, Ontario  P3C 4B7



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Joint Health and Safety Committee Report

April 2005

As the Joint Health & Safety committee prepares for an upcomming and exciting new adventure we would like to share this with our membership. First of all we will be hosting a fun fair called "Swing into Summer" This will take place in our main lobby the week of June 13-16. There will be in service education from the Monday to Thrusday from 1:00 to 3:00 daily. We will have CAW reps on hand, Health Unit, RDMS/physio and the OHCOW centre all attending.

Leena & Gayle are involved in a 5 year program to update the H&S programs in the home specifically in leadership, organization, hazard recognition, control activities and accident investigation. Which brings us to a more united workforce in the fact that we as H&S reps from the joint committee are now part of the accident investigation processfor the first time. As well as participants of the ERTW programs which we now are kept up to date on.

We have also have been in contact with our exec. dir to re-enstate the bottle water program to all workers over the summer months as this is a real issue for us during the heat.We have also put together First Aid kits and now have an authorized First Aid station with our RN's having their certificates posted

We are now working on our JH&S committee numbers to ensure there is equal numbers so that we will be able to have quorum's and work effectivly in the home.

We will soon be starting our in-service programs on WHMIS, Fire Extinguser,CPR as well as other exciting programs.

Yours in Solidarity

Gayle Theberge

Mike Rodda

Luc Blais

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SUDBURY ON MAY 15, 2004.

Please allow me to take this opportunity to extend a sincere thank you to the Sudbury Health Care Coalition Committee for inviting me here today to voice my concerns in long term care facilities.

During my 23 years as a health care provider I have experienced several changes in the system that has affected the quality of life for residents in long term care facilities.  As a result of these changes I became involved as a seniors advocate for residents and have been for many years.

Staff who choose to work in long term care facilities, in my opinion, are a different breed.  We provide care to people who need assistance to meet their daily needs.  We become their hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes and voices.  We provide the most intimate care.  We try to meet their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.  As health care workers we take exceptional pride in our work and the care provided.  Hands on care providers may be responsible for tending to the basic needs of 8 up to 18 residents in long-term care facilities.  It is impossible to provide the care that every resident deserves with the current staffing levels in nursing homes.

For those residents who do not have family members who are involved in their lives we are not only their care providers but become their family members.  If they have a bad day we lend an ear and give them a hug to reassure them.

We truly care!

The former government eliminated the minimum 2.25 hours of nursing care a day.  Today we have a funding system based on Case Mix Indexes and Case Mix Measures.  Residents are categorized based on their needs but mostly based on the behaviors that they exhibit.  Classifiers go into long term care facilities every year in the fall and review Care Plans and daily documentation.  This system is solely dependant upon the documentation in facilities.  Residents are categorized based on the documentation, as an A, B, C, D, E, F or G. “A” is a resident who requires very little care.  “G” is a resident who solely depends on their care providers and cannot make any decisions that affect them directly.

For example a 75-year-old male suffers a stroke in May.  The classifiers were in the previous September and the facility received funding for him as a category “D” resident based on his needs and behaviors at that time in September. Companies do not receive additional money to provide care for this resident even though his needs have changed.  Health care providers are not able to meet his needs and have to begin cutting corners.

In the beginning of 2000, the provincial government announced funding of 100 million for long term care facilities.  The majority of companies put this money towards their mortgages and staffing levels were not increased.  Several months ago there was a Long Term Care Association Conference and a staff member from George Smitherman’s office announced to the delegations in attendance that companies would have to pay “claw back monies” owed to the Ministry of Health.

One has to wonder if the recent announcement of 191 million dollars will be used by companies to provide care or will this money be used to pay back the “claw back” money.  This money must be used to improve quality of life for our residents in long-term care facilities; some of these people are the most venerable in our society.

Trends in facilities are as follows, increasing private for profit ownerships of facilities, deregulation of care standards and resident and staff protections in facilities and increasing out of pocket expenses and many more.

The public should be concerned how we treat our seniors in our communities and in long term care facilities.  Residents do not voluntarily live in these facilities.  They live there because they can no longer care for themselves or cannot live outside a controlled environment.  These facilities cannot become more institutionalized or deregulated.  This is their last home until the cycle of life comes to an end!  These facilities should not become havens for companies and shareholders to make profits.

Funding that all levels of Government receive is from our National Treasury Board.  The money at the National Treasury Board is finance collected from workers in the form of taxes and automatic payroll deductions.  Government and companies receiving our money should at all times be responsible and accountable.  As workers we should have a voice as to how our money is spent.

Residents in long-term care facilities are owed dignity and respect, at the very least.  There has to be a system in place that provides a minimum standard of care for all residents.

Are governments, agencies and companies responsible and accountable?  That is the dilemma.  Our concerns and duty is and always will be for the betterment of our residents and to the community as a whole.


 Anne Marie MacInnis

Seniors Advocate, Concerned Citizen


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