July 28, 2010
Deputy Minister James Hughes
Sartain MacDonald Building
PO Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me in Fredericton July 13. While our discussion of the home support industry was wide ranging there were several areas we both felt were crucial to solving the issues and improving home support services in New Brunswick.
The most important would be your support of the recommendations the NBHSA and Social Development are proposing in order to improve training and compensation of home support employees. This approval will go a long way towards ensuring the future of home support services in New Brunswick.
While the NBHSA has been instrumental in this process we rely mainly on membership for funding. In order to continue with the implementation process we would ask that the Department of Social Development provide sustaining funds of $25,000 per year over the next two years. This will allow us to complete the implementation and give us time to develop our own financial plan.
We also discussed the impact that Worksafe NB rates are having on the industry. Currently the industry pays about $2,700,000 or approximately 6% of all wages in Worksafe NB premiums. While we understand the importance of ensuring employees safety we feel that Worksafe NB does not understand our industry. Instead of working with us to develop effective programs they try to force us to use the cookie cutter programs presently in place. These programs are not working. We are asking you to appeal to Worksafe NB on our behalf so that we can develop the programs necessary to improve the industries accident rate. If new legislation is necessary to allow them to do this then we will cooperate fully in any way.
As you know we recently met with Premier Shawn Graham to discuss these crucial issues. We asked that he and his party support our endeavors. My feeling is that if we work together we will improve home support services to New Brunswick seniors and the disabled. In doing so we may help with the overcrowding in hospitals and the shortage of nursing home beds. At the very least we will ensure that home support services will be there when they are needed.
Again James thank you for your time and your support.
President – The New Brunswick Home Support Association Inc.
cc: Premier Shawn Graham, Minister Kelly Lamrock, NBHSA Boar