“I work at one of the first long-term care facility that had COVID in Canada. We were also one of the first long-term care facility to unionize during the pandemic.
Those were really difficult times for us as workers. Because it was the first outbreak site, there was a shortage of supplies to keep us safe. There was a lack of communication about what was happening around COVID. We were scared. There was a shortage of workers. And everyone around us was scared of us, because of where we worked and the concern that we might be contagious. We decided to join a union to help us. We needed a voice because we were not being heard.
I’m 30 years old now and I was the youngest person at my site at the time.
I’ve become very active in my union local and I’ve just been acclaimed as the chairperson for the second year in a row. The union’s training and workshops have been really helpful to us forming a union local. Being at our union’s convention has been really helpful because I’ve been able to meet other people who work in long-term care and we’ve been able to share how we are tackling issues in our workplaces.
I think everyone should be unionized in long-term care. You get your voice back and there are more benefits for you and your co-workers.”
Rafael, Care Aide, part of the health care team