Who Cares? is a campaign to raise the public profile of workers in the community care services sector (CCS) in New Brunswick. Led by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, this campaign aims to make the case for a better model of community care delivery – one that works for users AND workers.
What are Community Care Services?
More than 10,000 workers in New Brunswick provide support and services to help vulnerable individuals and families in our communities. This sector includes:
•Home support services;
•Adult group homes;
•Youth group homes;
•Transition houses; &
•Special care homes.
What is the issue?
•Users - Citizens are lost in a patchwork of services that are of unequal quality and availability. To respect their dignity, vulnerable individuals and our elderly need a system that is simple, accessible, effective and standardized.
•Workers - The overwhelming majority of them are women earning poverty wages with few or no benefits. Many CCS workers earn less than $15 an hour and work two or more jobs to make ends meet. Fewer than one in ten of all CCS workers in our province belong to a union.
What is the solution?
CCS must be included in a multi-pronged strategy to improve public healthcare: this means creating a Community Care Services system or authority. This would ensure equal services for our rural areas, reduce pressure on our hospitals and help lower costs for taxpayers. If integrated in our health system, a CCS Authority would have the following benefits:
•Standardize working conditions and raise levels of care for all patients
•Provide better working conditions for frontline care providers
•Solve worker recruitment and turnover problems
•Eliminate administrative redundancies and inefficiency
•Focus increasingly limited public funds on frontline service delivery
•Integrate the current 659 administrative units within a centralized administration
•Increase accessibility and quality of care for seniors and vulnerable citizens and improve access to services