Hamilton, Ont. –The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Community Care Access Centre’s decision to ‘disqualify’ two non-profit providers, following a competitive bidding process for home health care services, will result in clients losing the quality of care and experience provided by dedicated staff, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 25 clerical workers who are losing their jobs at St. Joseph’s Health Care.
“How can St. Joe’s suddenly not be qualified to provide home care for clients when the staff have been taking care of them for years,” said Jan Ouzas, CUPE 4800 president. “Some of our members have almost two decades of experience providing service to clients and administrative support to nurses at the centre – clients will now be on the losing end of a process that should never have been allowed to happen. Our members know their clients and the community they serve, and now that continuity will be lost.”
In addition to St. Joseph, the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) was also informed that they were ‘disqualified’ and eliminated through the competitive bidding process. St. Joseph and VON have a combined 197 years of service in the Hamilton community and are responsible for 80 per cent of home care patients in the Hamilton-Burlington area. St. Joseph’s Home Care’s current contract expires on March 31, 2008.
“This competitive bidding process for home health care is a race to the bottom,” added Ouzas. “In this degrading race, only for-profit companies will win because their focus will be on the bottom line – this translates to lower wages and benefits for staff and from our experience, lowers the quality of care for patients as the new focus will be on earning profits.”
“We are working with other affected groups to see how our members can continue providing quality services to clients in the community,” said Ouzas. “We are reviewing all our options as we help our members through this difficult period.”
For further information, please contact:
Jan Ouzas, CUPE 4800 President, 905-385-4555
Cheri Dobbs, CUPE National Representative, 905-575-5411
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999