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Health care workers at Sunset Lodge are deeply disappointed that an offer to help the facility deal with its budget pressures has been dismissed, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

During the past two weeks fired workers at the Victoria long-term care home, which is operated by the Salvation Army, have tabled two proposals aimed at meeting the facility’s stated budget shortfalls and preventing contracting out plans that would put 60 health care workers - most of them women - on the unemployment lines.

“Clearly the Sally Ann is more interested in eliminating its stable, dedicated workforce, than in finding a solution to any budget dilemmas it may face,” says HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic. “In fact, our members offered more than the $200,000 this employer originally said it required to avert privatization plans.

“Given the Salvation Army’s stated commitment to help people in poverty, we are surprised they would take such a callous approach to their own workforce,” she says.

Many of the front-line staff have worked at the 108-bed care home since its inception 24 years ago.

Referring to the high staff turnover that results from paying low wages with minimal benefits and no job security, Bosancic questions the impact this mass firing will have on the seniors who live at Sunset Lodge.

“Why throw out a long-time, dedicated health care team that’s been part of the lives of residents and their families for many, many years when there is a clear alternative?”

The last day of work for the laid off nurses, care aides, dietary staff, housekeepers and clerical staff is August 9.

Contact Bob Wilson, HEU servicing representative, at (250) 920-9091 (cell)
Stephen Howard, HEU communications director, at (604) 240-8524