“These members are proud of the service they provide but also struggle everyday with a number of systemic and workforce challenges that keep the program from being the best it can be." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (04 Jan. 2016) — The Manitoba government recently announced that its Home Care Leadership Team will be seeking public input through a special website on Manitoba’s Home Care program. The feedback form will be available until January 15, 2016.
Home care workers and clients face challenges every day
“Here at the MGEU, we represent home care workers who visit clients every day, as well as the professionals who manage individual home care plans and scheduling,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE).
“These members are proud of the service they provide but also struggle everyday with a number of systemic and workforce challenges that keep the program from being the best it can be. So we’re pleased that Manitobans who use the program and care about its success are being asked to share their experience and ideas in an accessible way," Gawronksy said.
Review comes after Auditor General's recommendations and MGEU/NUPGE members' concerns
The Team, which the government says is made up of experts and others who reflect a range of stakeholders, was put together in the wake of a series of recommendations from the Auditor General’s Office, many of which echoed concerns raised by MGEU/NUPGE members for years.
“Our members are the ones who work with families to come up with a home care plan that will work for that particular caregiver and client, who strive to schedule visits in the most efficient yet compassionate way possible, and who provide hands-on care for those elderly and disabled who are seeking to remain as independent as possible,” Gawronsky said. “It’s a complicated yet vitally important system that requires all of our best efforts and ideas in order to provide the kind of care that Manitobans expect and deserve.”
Effective management of human resources essential to quality home care
Home care workers who provide hands-on care recently wrapped up a long and difficult round of negotiations where they made some gains in areas such as scheduling of work hours, sick leave and wages.
“Those who oversee planning and scheduling with families and clients are still at the table, and have been for over 18 months,” Gawronsky said. “The Minister of Health has said a comprehensive plan for the future of Manitoban’s home care system will take into consideration short- and long-term human resources, and we believe this is vital. Given the nature of home care, the effectiveness of the program relies on the effectiveness of its workforce.”
You have until January 15 to submit your input
Gawronsky went on to encourage all members who work in the Provincial home care program to take this opportunity to share their challenges and potential solutions with decision makers.
“We know that home care clients sometimes fear consequences in their care if they are too vocal about concerns or challenges they’re experiencing,” Gawronsky added, “and our members often feel the same way. These are people who care for a living and can be quite hesitant to rock the boat.”
MGEU/NUPGE members and all Manitobans can share their thoughts and perspectives on home care before January 15, 2016.
The website notes that all information collected is confidential and will be used solely for the purpose stated. It will not be shared with a third party.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE