More than 230 health workers face layoff as North Shore nursing home changes subcontractors – again

Inglewood Care Centre rejects HEU’s call to bring services back in-house to end a decade of instability; Vancouver Coastal Health urged to protect continuity of care for residents
News release

[BURNABY,BC] – More than 230 Inglewood Care Centre staff will lose their jobs this spring because CareCorp – the company subcontracted to provide resident care and support at the nursing home – has terminated its agreement with the facility’s owner.

The impacted workers include care aides, LPNs, dietary staff, cleaners and others.

The nursing home’s owner, Unicare, has changed subcontractors numerous times since 2003, causing chaos and uncertainty for workers as well as for residents and their families. Wages at the facility are among the lowest in the Lower Mainland.

Unicare has rejected a call by the Hospital Employees’ Union to bring the work back in-house and will instead contract out to yet another subcontractor on May 31. It will be the sixth change in subcontractors at Inglewood since 2003.

The latest contract flip at Inglewood comes as the Labour Relations Board prepares to make recommendations on a first collective agreement between HEU and CareCorp.

HEU’s secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson says the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority – which funds Inglewood’s operations – needs to act to protect continuity of care for residents at the facility.

“After a decade of chaos and uncertainty, both residents and workers at Inglewood deserve some stability. If Unicare is unwilling to change its behaviour, the health authority should exert stronger oversight of the facility’s operations and finances.”

Unicare has subcontracted staffing at Inglewood to at least five different companies since it first contracted out the work of HEU members in 2003. Before that, HEU had represented Inglewood staff since 1975.

HEU also represented Inglewood staff between 2006 and 2011, when they were employed by a different subcontractor that was replaced by CareCorp. The union was certified to represent CareCorp’s Inglewood workforce in 2013.

Large-scale staff turnover has been endemic in the residential care sector, as a result of contracting out and contract flipping enabled by government legislation in 2002 that voided contracting-out provisions in health collective agreements.