NORTH BAY, Ont. — Long-term care staff from North Bay and other north eastern Ontario communities plan a noon rally for Monday, April 11 in front Cassellholme Home for the Aged (at Olive and Cassells streets). They’re adding their voice, to a growing number of people encouraging the Cassellholme board to re-think its current preoccupation pushing to become a private long-term care home.
Cassellholme, a district home is one of just a handful of municipal, public homes for the aged in north eastern Ontario. Studies show that resident care levels are higher in municipal long-term care homes, mostly because municipalities provide additional monies to the lower base funding provided by the province.
“Those who are suggesting that resident care wouldn’t be affected if Cassellholme were to become a private home – even if it’s a non-profit – aren’t being genuine. They know better. Lower staffing levels in private homes is one way to decrease resident care costs,” says Henri Giroux, North Bay District Labour Council President.
So far, the Cassellholme board has been virtually mum on why they hired an outside consultant at a cost of $30,000, “to tell them exactly what this outfit is known for telling municipalities; privatize and get out of providing a public service to your community. Their static and constant recommendation is for municipalities to cut operational cost by selling off and privatizing,” says Giroux.
He’s optimistic that upcoming presentations to municipalities that contribute to operate Cassellholme collectively, for local residents of nine communities, similar to the one made by Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario president, will be heard by councillors. A deputation before the East Ferris council is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Those councillors with a “social conscience. Those who believe in public service and who understand the value of maintaining control of at least one public, municipal long-term care home will we believe, not go along with the Cassellholme board divestment scheme,” says Giroux.
Also the president of CUPE 146 that represents front line staff at Cassellholme, Giroux says resident care quality is important to the Cassellholme workers and a community campaign to keep Cassellholme a public, municipal home is “just getting off the ground. There are many area families with loved ones residing at Cassellholme. It’s these families who built and paid for our district home and we believe they don’t want it privatized. It’s our communities’ home.”
More information about the ‘It’s our home. Let’s keep Cassellholme public’ campaign will be released in the coming weeks.
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