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Union rallies in support of Sault retirement home workers (4 photos)

Higher pay, more hours needed for Pathways employees, union says

About a dozen Unifor Local 1359 members rallied outside Pathways Retirement Residence on Trunk Road Friday, showing support for approximately 30 Unifor-represented employees who work at the seniors complex.

Specifically, those workers include a mixture of full-time and part-time Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), as well as housekeeping and laundry staff.

“We want them to be included in the three dollar an hour incentive (Ontario Premier) Doug Ford granted PSWs in long term care and in hospitals,” said Kelly Janes, Unifor Local 1359 vice president, speaking to SooToday.

Ford announced temporary extra pay for nearly 147,000 PSWs beginning Oct. 1 (intended to last until March) to recognize the work they are doing as frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That comes after an earlier pay bump, announced by the province in May, which ended in August.

“(Many of them at Pathways are) longstanding employees and they really love what they do (but) their wages are not far away from minimum wage,” Janes said.

“They need to fix the issues, ‘they’ being the company and the government.”

More hours would be nice as well, the union stated.

“The nursing staff and housekeeping have indicated that they are often working short-staffed, they miss breaks to accommodate the residents,” Unifor Local 1359 wrote in literature provided to SooToday.

“Most staff work a shorter shift, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.”

“The one benefit that the majority of the staff find beneficial is they work a four on four off rotation. That being said, it makes it very difficult to live on those hours,” Unifor Local 1359 wrote.

Karim Jadavji is listed as the owner of Pathways.

Pathways was not immediately available for comment Friday.

Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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