Yesterday, CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen spoke in front of the Standing Committee on Health at the Nova Scotia Legislature to emphasize the importance of ensuring all Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities reach a minimum of 4.1 hours of hands-on care a day.
When the government announced it would work with LTC facilities to ensure 4.1 hours of care daily for residents, many hoped this would be the 4.1 hours of hands-on care that CUPE has been advocating for more than fifteen years. It was not. Instead, it amounts to 3 hours of care from CCAs and 1.1 hours from LPNs and RNs rather than 4.1 hours of dedicated hands-on care from CCAs.
Though some LTC facilities have seen an increase in CCAs, many nursing homes will not see any increase as they were already staffed at 3 hours of care the government announced. CUPE welcomes any change that improves the lives of residents in LTC facilities, but there is still much work to be done to come close to the Federal Standards of LTC that was recently announced. Even the 4.1 hours of hands-on care is an outdated standard, taken from a study over 15 years old, and Nova Scotia is still falling behind. This minimum standard of care does not reflect the commitment this government made to fixing health care and it is imperative that we do better after failing LTC residents during the pandemic.
The hands-on care provided by CCAs is an important part of every resident’s daily life, however, it is important to note that a nursing home isn’t run solely by CCAs. To make a nursing home run smoothly and provide a high quality of life to residents, a group effort is required. Each and every worker in the facility, whether they be a housekeeper, laundry worker, or dietary etc., deserves to make a wage they can support themselves with. There should be no one working in LTC that doesn’t earn enough to live on and, sadly, Nova Scotia is not there, not even close.
See the full meeting here: