Annoyed home care worker calls it a career



One month before his twentieth anniversary as a home care worker, Pascal Le Gal left his job at the local Winnipeg health office.

Le Gal, 52, said he decided because of the poor working conditions he and his colleagues were exposed to. The problems he mentioned included a lack of planned breaks, lack of time off to deal with personal matters, work to exhaustion due to staff shortages and no salary increases with rising inflation.

“The only increase we have seen in the last five years has been an increase in mileage of two cents,” he said. “It’s quite offensive and a lot of us are furious.”

As gas prices rose in April, Le Gal sold his apartment and moved into an apartment that was closer to his home care route so he could shorten his commute.

“I was lucky to be able to move, but I know others who have personal commitments or don’t have enough money to get them out of the impasse and zero potential to raise their standard of living,” he said.



<p>RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
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Pascal Le Gal ended up for a variety of reasons, including a lack of planned breaks, lack of time off to handle personal matters, work to exhaustion due to staff shortages, and no salary increases with rising inflation. “/><figcaption>
<p>RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Pascal Le Gal ended up for a variety of reasons, including a lack of planned breaks, lack of time off for personal matters, work to exhaustion due to staff shortages, and wage increases with rising inflation.</p>
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<p>Le Gal said he had told his colleagues he would take a stand if their conditions did not improve, and he kept his word by leaving on Monday.			</p>
<p>“I have serious concerns about my co-workers who have stuck and sacrificed their lives and health over the years who do not feel they could be looking for another job,” he said.  “The stress of increased call interruption also affects me clients who are already dealing with a lot.”			</p>
<p>In April, the WRHA canceled nearly 27,000 home care meetings.  Compared to April 2021, this number increased by 166 percent.			</p>
<p>In an e-mail statement, a WRHA spokesman said that every effort was being made to meet home care appointments, but factors such as the COVID outbreak and the winter April weather made some cancellations inevitable.			</p>
<p>“The WRHA home care program continues to experience staff shortages,” the statement said.  “Our efforts to reduce vacancies have focused on improving the recruitment, training and orientation process in all positions. We continue to ensure that we are able to reduce vacancies while continuing to provide safe and high quality home care to our clients. they need. ”  . ”			</p>
<p>Debbie Boissonneault, president of Local 204 of the Canadian Public Employees’ Union, which represents the WRHA’s home care workers, said the problems Le Gal mentions came up again and again.			</p>
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<p>ALEX LUPUL / FREE WINNIPEG PRINT FILES</p>
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Employees feel that their clients are not getting the care they should, says Debbie Boissonneault, president of Local 204 of the Canadian Public Employees’ Union, which represents WRHA home care workers. “/><figcaption>
<p>ALEX LUPUL / FREE WINNIPEG PRINT FILES</p>
<p>Employees feel that their clients do not receive the care they should, says Debbie Boissonneault, president of Local 204 of the Canadian Public Employees’ Union, which represents WRHA home care workers.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>“Their collective agreement lacks sickness benefits, they don’t have coffee breaks and unpaid lunches, and they haven’t seen a pay rise in five years,” she said.  “Employees feel that their clients do not receive the care they should be, and they often find that when they see their clients, they have not received care for several days.”			</p>
<p>The last two years during the pandemic have been particularly difficult for workers, Boissonneault said.			</p>
<p>“We had to fight for protection, we had to fight to get masks. We had to fight for the right to know if anyone had COVID,” she said.			</p>
<p>CUPE and WRHA are currently negotiating a new collective agreement, which unions say should solve some of the problems.  The previous local agreement expired in 2017. In 2021, CUPE health workers voted 97 percent for the strike.			</p>
<p>“We’ve been at the table for a year and a half and we’re currently in mediation. It’s been five years too long,” Boissonneault said.			</p>
<p>“They lose health professionals in home care, personal care homes and acute facilities because COVID has taken a lot from them and they feel underappreciated. I know there are some people who would say they don’t have a strong relationship with their employer.”			</p>
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<p>RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
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Le Gal would consider returning to work if the health office showed more respect for the work he and his co-workers do. “/><figcaption>
<p>RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Le Gal would consider returning to work if the health office showed more respect for the work he and his colleagues did.</p>
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<p>Some of the things workers are looking for in the new contract include higher wages, more benefits and the opportunity to get a promotion, Le Gal said.			</p>
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“Almost everyone knows someone who is in the facility or needs care. We can contact our MLAs and demand fair dealings. Real people are hurt right now. Everyone has the right to the dignity and prompt service for the care they need and the people who they are looking for a fair, tolerable salary for them, “he said.

Le Gal would consider returning to work if the health office showed more respect for the work he and his colleagues did, he said. So far, he is satisfied that he can speak for them and for the clients he serves.

The province announced in April that it would examine senior Manitobans to develop a strategic plan in response to federal census data that show Canada’s senior population is among the fastest growing demographics in the country.

An advisory board will meet in the coming months to develop a plan to address housing, home care and community integration issues, Scott Johnston, a minister for seniors and long-term care, told a news conference.

The surveys will be conducted through face-to-face meetings with 50 community organizations working with seniors, along with the EngageMB website, where more than 10,000 Manitobans over the age of 65 have registered.

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