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Workers at two Halifax-area nursing homes whose owner is complaining about non-unionized workers making less than their unionized counterparts will have a chance to fix the problem next week.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is setting up meetings with the staff at Magnolia Continuing Care and Sagewood Continuing Care.

CUPE Atlantic Regional Director Jacquie Bramwell says, “With members in 60 long term care and community care workplaces – including almost 50 nursing homes one of which, Ivy Meadows, is owned by this employer – our union would be more than happy to work with this employer to ensure its employees enjoy the many benefits that come from being in a unionized workplace.

One of our organizers will be setting up meetings next week for staff at both the facilities so they can find out more about joining CUPE,” she says.

In a media report earlier this week, the owner of Scotia Nursing Homes claimed the provincial government is ‘short-changing’ non-union nursing homes. The company is seeking a court order compelling the health minister to engage in a mediation process to address the wage issue.

Says Bramwell, “CUPE has demonstrated its ability to work with nursing home and community care employers to improve the wages and working conditions of more than 4,000 workers in these two sectors.

The union says details of the meetings will be announced to employees at the two facilities.