Challenges for homecare workers must be addressed

Union blames lack of national standards for disparity in wages, conditions, care levels
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/11/2011

As the clock ticks down to the end of the 10-year health accord signed by the provinces and the federal government in 2004, the union representing many of Canada’s homecare workers says they must be a focus of the next round of negotiations.

At the recommendation of the Romanow Report on health care in 2002, expanding home care was a priority for the current accord. The deal set out an extra $41.2 billion over 10 years in dedicated funding to improve health care across the country, with a six per cent increase in health transfer payments each year from the federal to provincial governments until the expiry date of 2014.

The disappointment, according to CUPE’s senior researcher on health, Jennifer Whiteside, is that a decade later many of the same issues still plague the homecare sector in Canada.