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Prince Abert:  Special care aides at three long-term care facilities in the city voted overwhelmingly to keep their 12-hour shifts. Of the 176 special care aides who participated in this week’s secret-ballot vote, 98.2 per cent support the 12-hour shift rotations; 1.7 per cent want an 8-hour shift.

The vote was organized by CUPE Local 4777, after the employer said it intended to change the shifts for special care aides working in the Herb Bassett Home, Mont St. Joseph Home and Pineview Terrace Lodge from 12 hours to 8 hours without consulting them.

About 80 per cent of the 216 special care aides in the three facilities took the time to cast a ballot in this week’s vote, which was held at the union’s office.

The vote clearly shows our members want to have a say in decisions that impact their work lives,” says Carol McKnight, president of the CUPE 4777. “And who can blame them? Shift work has an enormous impact on our members and their families.”

McKnight says seeking input from our membership would be a good way to start “the quality improvement process” at the three long-term care facilities. “There are many ways to improve the quality of care in our health facilities. Our members would welcome the opportunity to talk to the health region about them.”

The health region’s “values statement” says it is committed to creating a safe workplace, where “our employees … feel supported, encouraged and appreciated for the work they perform.”  McKnight says she would like to see more of those values reflected in discussions about shift changes.

CUPE Local 4777 represents about 1,700 special care aides and other health care providers across the health region.

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For more information contact Carol McKnight at 961-1994
or Cheryl Stadnichuk at 525-5874