Algoma University is now cutting staff and services at its Windsor Park retirement residence. The University has owned this residence and the building since 2005, when they received a major donation from Dr. Lukenda.
For members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 1880, these cuts already mean lay offs, worsening working conditions and an uncertain future.
Anna Massolin, president of CUPE 1880, feels the University is not acting responsibly: “Even though there has been no reduction of the clientele, management is still cutting hours of work for many workers, said Massolin. It is hard to understand why Algoma University would act like this with some of its lowest paid workers, with the Christmas season fast approaching.”
Massolin is also concerned about the quality of services that will be delivered to elderly people living at this residence: “They will certainly be affected by the cuts in services, said Massolin. By cutting the hours, for instance, management is creating problems in our ability to provide adequate care for our residents.”
Rick Alexander, CUPE National Representative is perplexed by the University’s decision to cut hours: “With no reduction in clients, the only purpose to reduce hours is to undermine the bargaining process and maximize on Dr. Lukenda’s approximate $3 million donation. I have always believed Algoma University was a leader in the area of Social Justice, but the Third World treatment of our CUPE members is appalling.”
Both parties will meet November 28th in presence of a mediator from the Ministry of Labour. Members from CUPE 1880 hope that the presence of a third party will help them resolve the remaining bargaining issues and that the University will review the decision to cut hours of work.
CUPE 1880 represents 32 workers at the Windsor Park retirement residence, ranging from personal support workers, cooks, maintenance workers, program workers and clerical staff.