The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing workers at Valley View Villa in Stellarton, is concerned that the Nova Scotia Department of Health was unaware of the problems that existed at the facility. The union is calling on the Minister of Health to explain what action the provincial government will take to protect other workplaces from this type of upheaval and risk to patient care.
Last month, the current administration at Valley View Villa contacted CUPE representatives, asking to discuss financial issues at the long term care home. The union was informed that the previous administration had staffed to a level that is not completely funded by the provincial government and this has created a deficit that continued to grow over time.
The employer announced that restructuring was necessary to get down to appropriate staffing levels that fall within the funding mandate. CUPE representatives have since met with the employer to ensure that downsizing and layoffs were only implemented when there was no alternative through mitigation.
Peter Baxter, CUPE national representative, says that talks are taking place between the administration and the union. “We are doing everything we can to make sure members are represented under the collective agreement and proper layoff procedures are followed if necessary.”
“We are working together to ensure that frontline workers, the services they provide, and the people they care for are not negatively affected during the transition,” says Baxter. “We hope that the Province will work to ensure better oversight of budgets for public health care facilities, so workers and residents are not faced with this type of staff layoff again.”
CUPE Local 2330 represents approximately 140 members who work as continuing care assistants and personal care workers, as well as staff in dietary, activities and recreation, environmental services, and maintenance.