Burnaby MLA takes issue with bid to replace skilled workers at nursing facility

News release

Burnaby-Willingdon MLA John Nuraney is speaking out on behalf front-line health care workers sacked by a nursing home operator in his constituency.

After meeting Wednesday afternoon with a dozen workers who have been laid off, Nuraney wrote the operators of Willingdon Park Hospital to express his view that replacing staff with inexperienced workers may result in “inefficiencies and deficiencies” in care standards.

“I’m encouraged to see a Liberal caucus member exhibit this degree of independence and candor in his views on key government policies,” says Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“I hope this marks the beginning of a broader discussion within government ranks about the consequences of replacing skilled and experienced workers with contractors paying low wages to less experienced employees.”

Contracting out protections negotiated by these workers and their union were legislated out of existence by the Gordon Campbell government last January.

Seven housekeeping and laundry staff were laid off at Willingdon Park Hospital last month while another 11 workers — mostly in dietary services — have been given notice of lay off effective January 19 of next year.

Willingdon Park Hospital is a privately owned 95-bed nursing facility that receives most of its operating revenue from the provincial government.

-30- Contact: Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)

Click here for a copy of Mr. Nuraney’s letter to Willingdon Park Hospital.