A Message to Home Care Members from President MacLean

Dear members,
I am writing to you today because I want to express my deepest gratitude for the work that you are doing on behalf of Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable citizens. I understand the conditions that you are currently working under, and that you must be feeling incredibly stressed and vulnerable yourselves.
It is apparent to me – and I am sure to you, as well – that government has not acted quickly enough to ensure that home care workers are protected during this pandemic. While they issued directives to the individual agencies, there was not enough done to ensure that this critical information was shared in a timely manner with all home care workers. Furthermore, there is still much confusion about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and some agencies are not ensuring home care workers have access to enough of the PPE they need to do their jobs safely.
We want you to feel safe at work, and right now, we understand that you do not. Quite frankly, I don’t blame you for being scared, frustrated, or upset.
I want you to know that the NSGEU is doing everything in its power to make sure that government and agencies act decisively to protect you, your loved ones, and the clients you serve.
We are advocating for Continuing Care to cancel all non-essential visits and to limit the CCAs who go into each client’s home. We are pressuring both the agencies and the government to loosen their grip on the PPE you need to do your jobs safely and with confidence. We are also pushing to be included as part of the meetings Infection Control is having with our members, so we can be clear on the direction you are being given, and we can advocate on your behalf.
We have sent a list of recommendations that we are asking the Department of Health & Wellness to act on immediately. Once we have received a response from the Department, we will be in touch again.
In the meantime, please, be safe out there. Make sure to check care plans before visiting clients, as many of these are being updated due to COVID-19. Follow the screening protocols. If you are not provided with the proper PPE to do your job safely, do not provide the service.
Expect to hear from us again, shortly. We will get through this together.
In solidarity,
Jason MacLean
President, NSGEU

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