Sally Ann urged to reconsider sacking of 64 workers from Victoria care home

News release

Supporters to leaflet Salvation Army’s Pacific Northwest Congress in Vancouver Saturday

Front-line health care workers are appealing to Salvation Army Congress delegates meeting in Vancouver this weekend to recognize the plight of more than 60 health care workers who were laid off earlier this month from a care home operated by the organization in Victoria.

Unless Sally Ann’s local administrators agree to take a second look at their decision to contract out workers’ jobs to a private, for-profit company, Sunset Lodge’s entire permanent unionized care staff — nurses, care and activity aides, social workers, cooks, food service and maintenance workers — will be out on the street by August 9, 2003.

“We’re shocked that a non-profit facility operated by a charitable institution like the Salvation Army would put profits into the hands of a private company while forcing more women into unemployment and poverty,” says Hospital Employees’ Union spokesperson Zorica Bosancic.

“Not only will these workers and their families lose their livelihoods, despite their many years of dedicated service, but the strong personal relationships that have been built between the residents, their families and the staff will be broken,” she said.

Workers at the 108-bed facility — most of them women — average more than 10 years of service, while several have been on-the-job for as many as 24 years.

“By jumping on the Campbell government’s privatization bandwagon, and throwing a decently paid workforce out on the street, the Salvation Army is running counter to its own mandate to help the poor and disadvantaged,” said Bosancic. “It’s time for Sally Ann officials to recognize the impact privatization will have on the lives and well being of Sunset Lodge residents and workers.”

She said private corporations typically pay low wages, which results in high staff turnover and lower quality of care. She also points out that contract workers will be directed and supervised by a private company, instead of the facility.

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