ALLISTON, ON – Retirement home workers from OPSEU/SEFPO Local 332 will rally in Alliston on Monday, October 16 to demand a living wage from Aspira Kingsmere Retirement Living, owned by for-profit giant Sienna Senior Living, which charges residents thousands per month and rakes in hundred of millions in revenue.
Rally date: Monday, October 16, 2023
Time: 10 a.m.
Address: Aspira Kingsmere Retirement Living, 4649 Adjala-Tecumseth Townline, Alliston
“All frontline workers at Kingsmere Retirement Living deserve fair wages, not a select few,” said Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer. “These workers provide exceptional care to residents despite the ongoing disrespect and low wages offered by this employer. We’re in a cost-of-living crisis, and workers are rightfully demanding better. With the full support of our union, the members of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 332 will continue to fight – and win it.”
Earlier this month, a petition signed by every Local 332 worker was delivered to Sienna Senior Living by OPSEU/SEFPO Regional Vice President Sara Labelle and Local 332 Unit Steward Kirstie Byrne. (Read more: Staff petition for a living wage at Kingsmere Retirement Living delivered to Sienna Senior Living headquarters)
At Kingsmere, dietary aides earn minimum wage, PSWs earn $19, and nurses earn $24 (which is $15 less than nurses who do the same work at the nearest hospital). Most staff at Kingsmere earn less than a living wage, which is $20.70 per hour in Simcoe County.
Earlier this year, Kingsmere gave one dietary worker a $3/hour raise without consulting the union, and refused to do the same for other staff. OPSEU/SEFPO filed a complaint with the Labour Board, demanding that all Kingsmere staff receive a $3/hour raise immediately. The mediation date is October 16.
Giving everyone a $3/hour raise would lift most Kingsmere retirement home workers out of poverty, after years of stagnant wages have left these workers behind during a cost-of-living crisis.