On Friday, CUPE workers from across the province held a rally at the Regency Park Long-Term Care home in solidarity with seven long-term care staff who received layoff notices from the for-profit home operated by Universal Care. 

The seven staff include two dietary aides, three personal support workers, one registered nurse, and one registered practical nurse. As long-term care homes across the province struggle with a staffing crisis, Universal Care has cited ‘budget issues’ as their reasoning for laying off staff.  
CUPE is not aware of any Regency Park management receiving layoff notices. In an email to CUPE, Universal Care stated that the for-profit home hired too many agency staff to supplement staffing shortages.
Speakers at the rally included CUPE Ontario Secretary Treasurer Yolanda Mclean, Chair of the CUPE Ontario Health Care Workers Coordinating Committee, HCWCC, Debra Maxfield, long-term care researcher and advocate Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos and Ontario NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky, representing Windsor West.
HCWCC Chair Debra Maxfield is astounded that Universal Care is laying off staff in the middle of a staffing crisis within the sector. “Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we were in a staffing crisis. Long-term care was in trouble back then and we’re still in trouble. The pandemic just tripled it, and this home has done absolutely nothing to fix the staffing crisis since then. They have missed every benchmark sent by the province to improve staffing,” Maxfield says.  
The home has enough beds for 72 residents and employs about 65 staff. One of the staff who will be laid off has worked at Regency Park Long-Term Care for 30 years.  
“There’s a great deal of frustration and anger for the staff,” says Hawkins. “These LTC workers have given their careers to Regency Park, and this is how this employer will treat them.” 
“It’s not only about the workers who are being laid off. It’s also about the seniors that these workers support and help in this home, and by not having a full staffing complement, our seniors are missing out on the care that they deserve.”
“This is what happens when we leave our vulnerable seniors to the mercies of private long-term care,” said Yolanda McClean. “By laying off vital workers, Regency Park is putting its profits before the care and well-being of its residents. Their argument in support of layoffs is also counterintuitive because each of those permanent full-time workers will need to be replaced with someone, likely more high-cost for-profit agency staff.”
“Premier Ford and LTC and Seniors Minister Stan Cho are giving for profit operators like this one the green light across the province. Instead of allowing private corporations to wring profits out of long-term care at the expense of seniors and workers, they should be telling these profiteers to lower dividends to shareholders and offer better care.”