HEU calls on health authority to audit Penticton care facility

Despite increased funding, facility operator is contracting out work of more than 60 care staff
News release

The Hospital Employees' Union is calling on the Interior Health Authority to audit the books of a for-profit Penticton care facility that is threatening to lay off 60 care staff and contract out their work.

Wednesday afternoon, about 60 care aides, assisted living workers and recreation aides at The Hamlets at Penticton were told they would be out of work on August 31. That's about half the staff at the Duncan Avenue facility that’s operated by H&H Total Care Services Inc.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that the Interior Health Authority should be concerned about the impact the move will have on elderly residents at the facility. The affected staff provide for residents’ personal care needs like feeding, bathing, toileting and recreational activities.

"This is a totally unwarranted disruption in the continuity of care for these residents," says Darcy. "And the health authority has a responsibility to find out where the money it provides to this operator for the care of local seniors is going.

"The IHA increased its payments to H&H Total Care by more than 10 per cent last year to $8.2 million. Yet this operator is now targeting workers' wages for rollbacks,” adds Darcy.

"I guess the question to be asked is just how much profit should this operator be allowed to make from the care of seniors?"

Last year, H&H Total Care Services Inc. also threatened staff with layoff at The Hamlets at Westsyde in Kamloops in order to renegotiate the terms of a collective agreement with HEU.

The Hamlets at Penticton opened in the fall of 2008 and provides both residential care beds and assisted living quarters. About three-quarters of its residential care beds are subsidized by the IHA. 

June 1 Letter to IHA demanding audit of The Hamlets at Penticton