Sector 8 Newsletter: Long-Term Care

New Sector 8 Long-Term Care Divisional Executive elected at 2023 BPS Conference

At the Broader Public Service (BPS) Conference in November 2023, elections were held and Sector 8 now has a new Divisional Executive (DivEx) team. Read more about the members of your new OPSEU/SEFPO Sector 8 DivEx below. We have a full committee, including a communications coordinator and a health and safety coordinator.

Group of people standing together in front of a window with flip chart paper taped to it.

Our Mission

Improve participation and engagement via monthly zoom meetings to build a relationship with our locals. Our commitment is to strengthen our voices and to be heard. In this precarious and challenging environment, we strive to repair and motivate members to vent concerns in a safe space. We are open to discussion and offering help and advice in struggling times.

Our Goals

The newly elected Divisional Executive is eager to create change in our long-term care sector. Some of the goals of the executive are as follows:

  1. Communication – to achieve more member engagement in our sector
  2. Organize – Sector 8 Bargaining Conference November 4th and 5th, 2024
  3. Campaign/Lobby Day – to address the mental health issues and burnout experienced by workers in the long-term care sector

Our Strategy

The Sector 8 Divisional Executive will be hosting our sector’s very first bargaining conference in November. Members from each bargaining unit across the province will have the opportunity to come together, share issues of concern in our workplaces, share organizing strategies, compare the best contract language from our collective agreements, and work together to improve our contracts and workplaces.

Mental Health Continuum and Sector 8 members

Members of OPSEU/SEFPO Sector 8 work in long-term care homes, retirement homes, Independent Living homes and related facilities. After years of working short-staffed all the time, and dealing with mental strains and stress on a daily basis, many workers in our sector are tired and feeling burnt out.

We are sharing the Mental Health Continuum chart below as a helpful tool to identify changes in our health that we may be experiencing due to occupational stress. Our goal as a sector is to organize to change our working conditions to create healthier and safer workplaces.

(Accessible chart text printed at the end of this newsletter)

Mental Health Continuum Chart

Local 332 Aspira Kingsmere Retirement Living workers hold Quality of Care Town Hall

Residents and staff of Aspira Kingsmere Retirement Living, owned by for-profit giant Sienna Senior Living, came together on March 25, 2024 to talk about ways they could organize and work together to address quality of care issues at a town hall lunch meeting organized in Alliston by OPSEU/SEFPO Local 332.

Together, residents, staff and guest speakers made the connections between low wages, understaffing, and the resulting quality of care issues at the home.

Click here to read the full report and see pictures of the Quality of Care Town Hall.

OPSEU/SEFPO members of Local 332 who work at Aspira Kingsmere are currently in bargaining with their employer. The town hall event is the most recent in a series of public actions this local and bargaining unit has taken to demand a living wage and better working conditions from Aspira Kingsmere and their parent company, Sienna Senior Living.

In early October 2023, every OPSEU/SEFPO member who works at Aspira Kingsmere Retirement Living signed a petition demanding a living wage, which was then delivered to the headquarters of Sienna Senior Living.

Later that month, the workers held a Rally for a Living Wage outside Aspira Kingsmere.

Your Sector 8 Divisional Executive: 2023-2025

Jessica Zitman, Local 454 – Chair

Picture of Jessica Zitman

Jessica Zitman is the unit steward of P.C.I.L – Pace Independent Living. Jessica loves to inspire and empower those around her and is looking forward to working with her new DivEx team and spearheading a movement to bring Sector 8’s issues onto the main stage for real change in our industry. The needs of RPNs and PSWs will no longer be swept under the rug and forgotten like they have been for too long.

Monique Moustafa, Local 328 – Vice Chair

My name is Monique Moustafa. I am a mother of 2 and grandmother of 4. I love what I do. I am the newly elected Vice-Chair. I’ve been a PSW for 9 years working in long-term care. I am the Secretary, Treasurer, Steward, and activist, as well as a Health & Safety team member for Local 328.

I may only have been a PSW for 9 years, but I have been around the health care, focus driven system for 45 years, following in the footsteps of my mother and grandmother for so many years.

I have the utmost compassion when it comes to working with our residents. So I know what it takes to recognize the needs of our residents and staff.

I want to be the voice for my fellow co-workers and LTC members who don’t think they are being taken seriously.

I’m extremely passionate and I strive for success and leadership. I want to improve our working conditions and address the mental health issues and the struggles that we face on a daily basis. I want to have the tools and resources to implement policy changes to make safer workplaces, increase morale and build solidarity.

Julie Graham, Local 305 – Secretary/Treasurer

Picture of Julie Graham

I have been a PSW for 24 years and have spent the last 19 years at Local 305 – District Municipality of Muskoka (Pines Nursing Home and Fairvern Nursing Home). I was recently elected Local President and I previously held the role as Treasurer for my local. This is my second round in the Secretary role for this sector. I am hoping to learn and engage members in our sector.

I am very passionate about my job and I’m ready to help fight a good fight for long-term care. I am a proud hockey mom of two boys with my youngest being a goalie. I love to adventure! I love to find new trails, waterfalls and I also enjoy backcountry camping with my canoe. I go solo or with my partner. My goal is to hit as many Provincial Parks as I can and live my best life!

Corrina Cadeau, Local 328 – Communications Coordinator

Picture of Corrina Cadeau

I have worked in Long-term Care for 32 years as a housekeeper. I have held many positions: Area Council as Secretary/Vice, Divisional Executive Communications Coordinator/Vice, and currently am the Local President and Steward of Local 328, as well as the Health & Safety Co-Chair representative.

I am a union activist who is passionate about my work, tackles each day with focus, never making excuses for why I can’t get things done. My goal is to inspire the members to have the confidence to solve problems. Communication is key.
Outside of work I love embarking on campsite/hiking trips with my dog and family.

Mercy Omagbon Idehen, Local 281 – Health and Safety Coordinator

I have been working in health care as a UCP/PSW for 16 years at Local 281 – Aberdeen Gardens Retirement Residence. I am the Local President and Steward and was previously the Health & Safety Representative. I am very passionate about my job and responsibilities as a health care worker, and as Local President.

At the 2023 BPS Conference I was elected Health & Safety Coordinator for the Long-Term Care sector. My main goal is to bring change to our work environment and to be able to stand up for my residents and members. One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family. I enjoy travelling and make self-care a priority. I believe knowledge, communication and teamwork can make a real change.

Mental Health Continuum Chart Text (Accessible)

Mental Health Continuum: How are we?


  • Normal Mood fluctuations
  • Takes things in stride
  • Good sense of humour
  • Performing well
  • In control mentally
  • Normal sleep patterns
  • Physically well, good energy levels
  • Physically and socially active
  • No or limited alcohol/gambling


  • Irritable/Impatient
  • Nervous/sad/overwhelmed
  • Displaced sarcasm
  • Procrastination/forgetful
  • Slipping memory and concentration
  • Trouble sleeping/intrusive thoughts
  • Muscle tension, headaches, low energy
  • Decreased activity, reduced socializing
  • Regular but controlled alcohol use/gambling


  • Anger/Anxiety
  • Pervasively sad/feeling hopeless
  • Negative attitude
  • Poor performance
  • Poor concentration and decision-making
  • Restless disturbed sleep
  • Increased aches, pains and fatigue
  • Avoidance, social withdrawal
  • Increased alcohol use/hard to control


  • Angry outbursts/aggression
  • Excessive anxiety/depressed thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Overt insubordination/can’t control behaviour
  • Can’t perform duties/control behaviour
  • Can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. Too much sleep
  • Physical illness/constant fatigue
  • Not going out or answering phones
  • Addictions affect daily life