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A new round of layoffs at the Fairview Villa Nursing Home in Halifax is being characterized as posing a risk to the health and safety of residents, as well as being unfair and not sensible.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the employer, part of the Shannex chain of nursing homes, appears to be targeting one group of workers for layoff and not others. 24 positions are set to be eliminated - 19 of those are PCWs.

CUPE Local 1416, which represents Personal Care Workers (PCWs) at Fairview Villa, says the number of beds at the home is being reduced from 150 to 105. But instead of laying off the various kinds of workers such as RNs, LPNs and others proportionately, they are only laying off PCWs.

Local 1416 President Eileen Ross says, These layoffs make no sense. The medical status of the residents has not changed, and PCWs provide most of the day to day care for these elderly residents.

There is going to be a marked decrease in the quality of care and the health and safety of residents if they lose their Personal Care Workers. Furthermore, all this extra work will be dumped on the remaining LPNs and RNs and Im sure theyre not happy about that, says Ross.

The LPNs and RNs at Fairview Villa are represented by NSNU (Nova Scotia Nurses Union). In addition to PCWs, CUPE also represents dietary, housekeeping and recreation workers at Fairview Villa.