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(St. Johns) Job cuts announced last week by the St. Johns Nursing Home Board will have a direct impact on patient care.

CUPE Local 879, which represents workers at St. Patricks Mercy Home, says a statement from the Board Chair last week that the cuts would not affect patient care is utterly false.

CUPE represents Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) at the home.

CUPE National Rep. Bob Matthews says, Eighteen months ago they cut 3 full-time LPN positions. That amounts to 5,800 hours of direct patient care. Last week they announced cuts equaling 3.6 LPN and PCA positions, which is over 7,000 hours of direct patient care. How can the Board say this doesnt affect patient care, asks Matthews.

Ironically, says Matthews, management and non-union jobs have not been touched in this round of job cuts.

Says Matthews, With talk of a P3 (Public-Private-Partnership) coming to the Nursing Home Board, it sure looks to us like this employer is making the operation leaner and more attractive for a potential private partner.

Matthews says CUPE is holding a P3 conference here in St. Johns, the first weekend in March, to look at some of the myths and facts around public-private- partnerships.

Premier Grimes has recently said his government is considering the controversial P3 model for the provinces nursing home sector.

For information:
Sheree Juneja, President, CUPE Local 879
738-2282 (h)
Bob Matthews, CUPE National Rep.
753-0732 (o)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)