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UNIONVILLE - Union Villa is attempting to roll back the benefits of its front-line staff and has rejected proposals to ease staff shortages and give wage parity to its employees, charges the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

CUPE Local 3744 had a brief bargaining session yesterday with management of the long-term care facility. We are surrounded by a $20-million expansion but we cannot achieve a decent collective agreement for the front-line staff at Union Villa, says Marie MacKenzie, the local president. Union Villa staff are under incredible stress because of understaffing and overwork. Union Villa has rejected our proposals to improve conditions at the long-term care facility. Instead, they are demanding that employees accept rollbacks in medical and dental benefits.

Conditions inferior to Bethany Lodge

The stressful working conditions that exist at Union Villa are taking a toll on the workers and the residents. All the staff are crying out for help, says MacKenzie. Nurses are being buried in paperwork and they say that residents are not getting the attention they deserve. Health care aides are pushing food trolleys instead of doing what they do best caring for residents. Laundry workers are having problems with folding and sorting because they are understaffed.

Employees at Union Villa earn between seven and nine per cent less than their counterparts at Bethany Lodge down the street. They are offering meager wage increases that will not even cover the cost of the Ontario Health Premium Tax. We are seeking wage parity with staff at Bethany Lodge. We are far apart in every area, says MacKenzie.

CUPE says it will continue to urge Union Villa to get back to the bargaining table to improve conditions at the facility. It is shocking how little time they have devoted to this, says MacKenzie. The things that should matter the most conditions for residents and staff seem to be at the bottom of their list of priorities. The residents of Unionville created this long-term care facility. We have an obligation to inform them that the facility is deteriorating and that is what we intend to do.

CUPE Local 3744 represents 69 full-time and 95 part-time staff at the facility. They work as Registered Practical Nurses, health care aides, maintenance staff, laundry staff, activation therapists, housekeeping staff, and personal support workers.


For more information, please contact:
Marie MacKenzie - 905-887-2259
Shannon McManus, CUPE Communications - 416-455-8247