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Unions say better working conditions needed for Nova Scotia’s home care sector

HALIFAX — Union leaders are calling for improvements to working conditions and safety for Nova Scotia’s home and community care workers.

Nan McFadgen, provincial president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, told a legislature committee today that home support workers need guaranteed hours.

McFadgen says too many workers are lost over time because they can’t get enough work to make ends meet, adding that her union has seen a 10 per cent reduction in the number of people it represents in the last year alone.

She says implementing guaranteed work hours is essential to help with recruitment and retention in the profession.

Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, says the safety of home care nurses is also a concern, because the majority work on their own and often have no idea what kind of situations they are walking into when they enter a home.

Hazelton says there should be two people per house call to help ensure worker safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2023.

The Canadian Press