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An issue that’s not going away


The impasse between NAPE, the union representing home care workers, and the companies providing home care is a battle that likely won’t be going away.

Sure, the negotiation stalemate may meet its peaceful resolve and, sure, the three sides — as government is also vital in the equation — may come to some kind of understanding, but this issue will continue to rear its head for decades to come.
The baby boomers have retired from the work force, they’re aging fast and their health is beginning to show signs of slowing down.
Those without home care now — or an alternative — will need it soon. This means more people will be needed to work in the field and the money required to pay them will continue to escalate.
As governments, and subsequent governments, take power, they will be forced to deal with the same issue over and over again. And it’s only going to get worse.
The 27 home- and youth-care agencies are in an awkward situation here as they provide the service, but have to bid on contracts that are dictated by government. To win the bid they must find efficiencies in their operations while at the same time paying out wages that are negotiated with a union.
The union, on the other hand, knows what wages are fair and equitable for the positions, but must negotiate with the agencies, and not the province, which is the source of the funding.
The provincial government is doling out the money for the work to be done, but is also looking to spread the purse strings to all health care in the province, thereby having to pick and choose which areas get what.
There is no easy fix to this issue and the most important fourth element in the equation — the users — have little say in how it works.
Budgetary wizardry may not be in order to ease the strain and stress on the lives of those in need of home care, but a solution is of the utmost importance.
Let’s hope this latest impasse is the soon resolved, and future negotiations go as smoothly as possible.

Sure, the negotiation stalemate may meet its peaceful resolve and, sure, the three sides — as government is also vital in the equation — may come to some kind of understanding, but this issue will continue to rear its head for decades to come.
The baby boomers have retired from the work force, they’re aging fast and their health is beginning to show signs of slowing down.
Those without home care now — or an alternative — will need it soon. This means more people will be needed to work in the field and the money required to pay them will continue to escalate.
As governments, and subsequent governments, take power, they will be forced to deal with the same issue over and over again. And it’s only going to get worse.
The 27 home- and youth-care agencies are in an awkward situation here as they provide the service, but have to bid on contracts that are dictated by government. To win the bid they must find efficiencies in their operations while at the same time paying out wages that are negotiated with a union.
The union, on the other hand, knows what wages are fair and equitable for the positions, but must negotiate with the agencies, and not the province, which is the source of the funding.
The provincial government is doling out the money for the work to be done, but is also looking to spread the purse strings to all health care in the province, thereby having to pick and choose which areas get what.
There is no easy fix to this issue and the most important fourth element in the equation — the users — have little say in how it works.
Budgetary wizardry may not be in order to ease the strain and stress on the lives of those in need of home care, but a solution is of the utmost importance.
Let’s hope this latest impasse is the soon resolved, and future negotiations go as smoothly as possible.

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