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SYDNEY, NS – The union representing frontline staff at Braemore Home in Sydney says one of their members wrote management at the home on September 14 outlining their concern about a resident who had been locked in a room there.

CUPE National Representative Kathy MacLeod says, “I want the public to know that our staff, the Residential Care Workers (RCWs) at this home, were in no way, shape or form involved in the decision to lock this resident in a room by himself. In fact, it was one of our members who brought the situation to light.”

Media reports today state that the resident had been locked in the room from September 12 to 26.

”In fact,” says MacLeod, “I want to commend the member of CUPE Local 3513 who had the courage to put his or her concerns in writing about the way this resident was being treated.”

Says MacLeod, “Our staff are not even allowed to change a light bulb in that facility without permission. The public needs to understand that RCWs would have had nothing to do with a decision to isolate a resident in this way.”

MacLeod says, “There are clients coming into this facility with increasingly complex mental health issues such as autism and staff are receiving virtually no training on how to deal with these residents. We have written extensively to this employer outlining our concerns about this and many other issues, even copying the Board of Directors. We currently have 83 outstanding grievances with this employer. That has to tell you something.”

It is no coincidence, by the way, that this group of employees has taken a very strong strike vote and will be in a strike position on January 31. The frustration levels are very high and could even result in job action,” says MacLeod.

I want the public – and the families of residents - to know that the frontline staff at Braemore Home are a dedicated, supportive group of workers who do not deserve to be tainted in any way by this incident,” she says.

  • Read the story update below: Facility apologizes.

For more information, please contact:

Kathy MacLeod, CUPE National Representative, (902) 539-4933     

John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative, (902) 455-4180

Story update

Facility apologizes

An article written by Michael Tutten of the Canadian Press, Facility apologizes after report of autistic man’s 15-day confinement, states that the union [CUPE] says the incident was reported on September 14 by a [CUPE] worker at the home to the Department of Community Services, which determined the case constituted institutional abuse under the Protection for Persons in Care Act.

A government report obtained by The Canadian Press under freedom of information legislation says the facility is to “ensure the resident has the same physical environment as all other residents.” The Department of Community Services requires that the man be given a personal treatment program and it wants minutes taken when meetings are held to discuss his treatment.