Despite several overtures by the Hospital Employees’ Union to help Simon Fraser Lodge deal with its stated budget problems, the Prince George long-term care facility has opted to hire a private contractor and fire all its skilled dietary, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and recreation staff.
Many of the 40 workers who are affected by the mass layoff are long-time employees of the 130-bed care home.
“There’s no question that eliminating a dedicated, experienced staff team and replacing it with a new low-wage workforce will have a negative impact on the quality of care seniors’ will receive,” says HEU secretary business-manager Chris Allnutt.
“Residents will lose the staff they know and trust, and the community will lose 40 family-supporting jobs, all of which could have been avoided if the administration had been willing to seek an alternative solution.”
It is anticipated that a second wave of mass firings will occur later this fall that could see more than 60 direct care staff thrown out of work.
Simon Fraser Lodge, which is owned by the multinational Buron Health Care, a subsidiary of Buron Construction, is the first long-term care home in the north to contract out its health care team.
Patty Gibson, HEU communications officer
(604) 328-7393 (cell)
Kathy Jessome, HEU northern director
250-564-2102 (direct) or (250) 960-9786 (cell)