Health care workers, represented by Unifor Local 2458, held a rally on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 outside of Fairfield Park in Wallaceburg.
Union officials say the rally was held “to demand the employer at Fairfield Park” to negotiate a fair and equitable collective agreement.
“Our members work hard and are loved and cherished by the families and residents at both Broulliette Manor and Fairfield Park long term care homes,” stated Mike Kisch, first vice president of Unifor Local 2458, in a press release.
“These are COVID heroes, who put their lives on the line every single day. The employer rewards their dedication and hard work by demanding unfair concessions. This is not acceptable, and we will fight tooth and nail for a fair and equitable collective agreement.”
Signs were held and flags were waved by those in attendance, as several vehicles honked their horns during the rally, which began at 11:30 a.m.
Fairfield Park officials provided a statement to the Sydenham Current in response to the rally.
“The Union and the Employer met to negotiate the terms and conditions of a renewal collective agreement,” Fairfield Park officials stated.
“We were not able to come to an agreement, so the parties will be proceeding to binding interest arbitration.”
The rally was held outside in front of the 1934 Dufferin Avenue facility and included union leaders, workers at Fairfield Park, the media and members of the public.
“Mike (Kisch) and I are used to employers coming back to the table with concessions,” Chris Taylor, Unifor national staff representative, said during the rally.
“We’re not used to seeing owners of long-term care homes, who at the very worst time in our history in long-term care, in the worst heath care crisis that we’ve had in our lifetime, come to the bargaining table and tell our members, your bargaining committee, who was at the table, tell them that they are not worth bargaining for, there is no senses in bringing any proposals to the table. If you want an agreement, it’s 1.5 per cent on a wage increase, period, and a nickel for your weekend premium. Nothing else.”
Union officials say Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy.
“The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future,” union officials said in a press release.
Fairfield Park opened in 2000 and was the first long-term care home constructed within the Province of Ontario, designed to meet and exceed the new design standards developed and released by the Ministry of Health in 1998, their website states
“Fairfield Park is a 103 bed home, licensed and inspected regularly by the Ministry of Health to ensure that all standards are met,” their website states.
“Fairfield Park also participates in the Accreditation program through the Canadian Council in Health Services Accreditation.”
Here are a few more photos from the event: