Long-term care operators urged to directly employ staff rather than risk more contracting out

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HEU is asking the operators of six long-term care facilities to employ care staff directly in order to avoid looming layoffs and the resulting disruption in care for seniors.

Over the next two and a half months, about 700 care aides, activity aides and LPNs at the facilities will lose their jobs. They work for commercial subcontractors brought into long-term care facilities under the provisions of Bill 29 that were recently struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In each case, the contract for services was cancelled – either by the subcontractor or the facility operator – resulting in the layoff notices to workers. For some workers, it’s the second or third time they’ve been laid off because of contract flipping.

HEU assistant secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic wrote the facility operators earlier this week urging them to take action to prevent further instability in the delivery of care.

“Our union believes that the decision by the high court provides unions and employers with an opportunity to reverse this situation while at the same time reducing the legal liabilities that may result from continuing to contract out these services,” wrote Bosancic.

“I would invite you to consider employing these workers directly, rather than risking another uncertain arrangement with a Bill 29 subcontractor.”

The letter was sent to the operators of MSA Manor in Abbotsford, Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam, Inglewood Care Centre and West Vancouver Care Centre in West Vancouver, Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver and Nanaimo Seniors Village.