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Winnipeg – Support staff at two personal care homes owned by Extendicare Inc. are out on the street tomorrow and Friday, raising concern about the quality of care they can provide residents.

Support staff at Tuxedo Villa and Oakview Place are handing out information about the problem management is creating by short staffing.  According to the union representing the workers, the company is consistently understaffing shifts, which increases the workload of staff and reduces the attention they can provide residents.

The support workers provide health care, dietary, laundry and maintenance for the personal care homes.  They are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The members are concerned about the welfare of their residents – they want to see them get the best possible care, but they are just too rushed to meet all the residents’ needs,” according to CUPE National Representative Pam Beattie.  “And this is a problem management can fix – it’s in their power to pay the wages and improve the conditions for staff to do their work.”

The union argues that with better wages the company could attract more staff and meet the staffing needs of each home.  Currently, for example, Health Care Aides are paid 27 per cent less than their counterparts in publicly run personal care homes.

The Union and Extendicare have been in bargaining for a new collective agreement since last October as the existing agreement expired a year ago.  While negotiations have addressed some issues, there is no agreement on wages or benefits.

Thursday, April 17, Oakview Place – 2395 Ness Avenue – 7 am to 4 pm
Friday, April 18, Tuxedo Villa – 2060 Corydon Avenue – 7 am to 4 pm