By Corinne Benson,
It is hard to understand how with a majority NDP Government we are having labour conflicts like the one with Points West Living in
On a very cold Feb. 3 I attended a rally of about l50 strikers and supporters in front of the PWL Office (which had conveniently moved) about their lockout on Dec.16th.
PWL is one of the most profitable and fastest growing for-profit seniors providers operating in
The problem can't be credited to a lack of money. According to the AUPE
website, “After a sale in 2015 valued at approximately $100 million, all PWL
sites are owned by the same
Again this is from the AUPE website: “Between 2008 and 2013, PWL received more than $32 million of public funding to build six facilities, as well as operating funding of $25,000-$65,000/per bed and additional funding for medical equipment and facility upgrades.”
The emphasis at the rally was not on wages, but working conditions. Most staff work part-time or casually, and they want solutions to problems of short staffing, arbitrary scheduling and concerns about training. This includes respect for seniority. The casual nature of the work force does drive wages down, but more seriously offers much degraded care to the seniors. The relationship between staff, and with the residents, is more difficult to maintain. Regulations in this field are in much need of improvement. Because there aren't any strict ratios of staff to residents, staff can be severely overworked, which deteriorates the ability to care well for residents.
The issue of training and regulations was also brought up. As frontline workers, these are employees who can witness the neglect and abuse of those in great need, and their voices should be heard.
Union negotiator John Weaver said that most private for-profits have similar
problems, and that 60% of senior care facilities are private for-profit. This
contract has far-reaching implications for care of seniors, because there are
first contracts at the Stettler and
For more information, visit www.pwlprobe.com; this site will help you to send a letter to the government.
above article is from the February 15-28, 2017, issue of People's