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More than 250 HEU members on Vancouver Island will lose their jobs when the VIHA closes 350 long-term care beds over the summer.

The announcement affects care aides, LPNs, activity aides, rehab assistants, unit clerks, housekeeping, laundry, and food service workers in eight facilities in Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville and Victoria.

With the contract-flipping, short-staffing, and heavy workloads this is absolutely the wrong thing to do,” says HEU Secretary Business Manager Judy Darcy. “It can only further demoralize workers, while continuing to destabilize care for seniors.”

The move is part of the BC government’s privatization of seniors’ care. The vast majority of new beds opening on the island will be owned and operated by private, for-profit companies.