Winnipeg residents living with disabilities left struggling amid health-care support worker strike – Winnipeg

On Wednesday, 160 health-care support workers walked off the job at Ten Ten Sinclair, a housing development company in the city for people with various physical disabilities.

The job action has left tenants at the company’s Forkus properties feeling like they have fallen through the cracks.

“I have received one shower assistance since Wednesday, and otherwise, I’ve just been trying to do sponge baths myself. It’s been very difficult,” said Kristianna Huege, Fokus tenant.

Tenants have said the lack of support has been causing major anxiety as they navigate difficult tasks such as getting out of bed and emptying foley bags.


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“I’m scared I’m going to be put into bed and left there for how many hours or how many days, not having any help, any communication,” said Tenant, Lisa Quiring.

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As a temporary measure, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) brought in more workers to help fill the gaps left by the strike but the tenants say staffing is still limited and many of them are not aware of their specific needs, resulting in tenants having to assist the workers.


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“They came to me and said, ‘Ok, what needs to be done, who are we looking at?’ Now, all of that should have been taken care of, all of that should have been handled, but obviously, it fell through,” said resident Lori Ross.

Ross says a lot of people who live in the building were in the dark about what was going to happen, which left her feeling like there should have been better communication.

Meanwhile, resident Nolan Smith believes it is a culmination of a long-term issue of the company straying away from its original philosophy of independent living.

“It has become a top-down management system where we’re being told when we’re going to go to bed when we’re going to have breakfast,” Smith said.

Global News did reach out to the company for a comment but has yet to receive a statement.

The tenants, are hoping the strike is resolved soon and say they would also like to have more input into how their living situation is run to avoid situations like this occurring again.

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— With files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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