Wednesday, May 31, 2017

--Cold Lake Points West Living Lock-Out Post # 2-- At the end of a messy labour dispute---The decision to terminate the Cold Lake workers comes on the heels of a settlement of a collective agreement with AUPE at Points West Living’s Heritage House in Vegreville, which maintained provisions to deter the practice of “working short,” or not replacing staff absent in the case of vacation or illness. The Heritage House agreement also maintained a ban on contracting out.-

Retribution happens not only for families and advocates in Alberta but also for workers. If you yap in public and advocate for the most vulnerable citizens in the continuing care system this doesn't go over well with the continuing care industry. They prefer that folks simply suck it up. Or at least yap behind closed doors so that the public doesn't find out what the workers go through.
It's curious to me that the firing of these workers was done. I mean it seems rather dumb. The folks at Points West Living aren't very strategic in terms of labour disputes because they don't understand that things have changed in Alberta. I mean they haven't changed in terms of the failures of the NDP government to prevent retribution or to ensure the rights of residents in the continuing care system, but things have changed in terms of families who have folks in the continuing care system. We're yapping in public even if we do face retribution. And we're supporting the workers who also yap in public about the problems in the continuing care system such as the poor staff:resident ratios or the lack of training of staff with the full knowledge of the employer. There are other problems like understaffing on weekends and lack of a reliable pool of workers to stay with residents and get familiar with their health problems.
But of course the public won't hear about these problems especially if family and advocates are banned and sued. Now we have workers being fired for their yappiness in public. I guess what is needed here is for us all to keep yapping. The continuing care industry needs to hear from us all and I imagine that with enough folks in the public yapping, the GOA might do its job.

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I am curious what will happen next in this labour dispute. It's an interesting case because we have a law being introduced by the NDPCs and the company has in a way been proactive about this law by just firing folks.
Usually in Alberta no one cares about this sort of stuff because of the so called free market that doesn't exist in the continuing care system or really in the oil and gas sector either.
But in this case we have a fairly big union. We also have the NDP in government and so far they have done nothing to help out the ordinary man and woman on the streets. I doubt that anything will be done in this case by the government since it takes forever for the folks there to find their hands and feet even though these appendages are attached to their bodies.
I guess AUPE is going to have to work the citizens --especially the folks in Cold Lake to kick butt. GOA butt. And perhaps the continuing care provider butt.

EDMONTON - Points West Living announced in a letter to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees May 25 that the company will terminate all nursing care employees at their Cold Lake facility and pl...
AUPE.ORG

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I heard about the firing of staff at the continuing care place in Cold Lake and I was curious.  Apparently this labour dispute has been going on for a while and like most problems in the continuing care industry no one is interested in either the residents or the staff. Everyone in government just cares about the industry since the government of Alberta is basically a bank writing cheques using non-existent money that everyone believes will materialize from the future work of grunts in Alberta (that is us).

Well the only thing different about this case is that there is  a big union involved and other unions are helping out with the collective action business. Let me start at the end and work backwards to find out how things became this troubling. I mean in the middle of this labour dispute are the most vulnerable citizens in Alberta folks. If no one is interested in them, at least their families should be going to the media and asking for help from the media. Once media becomes interested it is inevitable that the politicians do something because in Alberta it takes media attention to get work done.

Where was I in this post? I was at the end. The folks at this place are being fired.



 



05/29/17
POSTED IN: HEALTH CARE
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EDMONTON – Points West Living announced in a letter to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees May 25 that the company will terminate all nursing care employees at their Cold Lake facility and plans to have an outside contractor provide care in the future.
The announcement came to AUPE just one day after Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, was tabled in the legislature. If passed, the bill will bring in provisions to settle first collective agreements in newly unionized sites such as Points West Living Cold Lake.
“This is a mean-spirited, cowardly move designed to avoid the new labour relations legislation,” said AUPE president Guy Smith. “Points West Living has made union busting a higher priority than providing quality care to the seniors they are responsible for and that’s disturbing.”
AUPE filed a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board Friday, asserting the move is illegal. The union is requesting an injunction to stop the contracting out.
Points West Living locked out its Cold Lake employees just days before Christmas. Staff continue to picket at the facility every day. Workers are calling for solutions to problems such as short-staffing, arbitrary scheduling and concerns about training that jeopardize the quality of care for the residents they serve.
The decision to terminate the Cold Lake workers comes on the heels of a settlement of a collective agreement with AUPE at Points West Living’s Heritage House in Vegreville, which maintained provisions to deter the practice of “working short,” or not replacing staff absent in the case of vacation or illness. The Heritage House agreement also maintained a ban on contracting out.
In contrast, the company has claimed further bargaining with Cold Lake workers would be “a useless formality.”
“Instead of negotiating respectfully, Points West Living is punishing its Cold Lake workers for the strong stand they have taken, and for their outspoken advocacy to address the root problems of Alberta’s senior-care system,” said Smith.
“This spineless attempt to avoid good-faith bargaining is exactly the kind of action that the new legislation could help prevent. The timing on this is incredible,” he said.
AUPE is Alberta’s largest union with more than 90,000 members province-wide.
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For more information, contact:
Guy Smith, AUPE president: (780) 265-2294

Merryn Edwards, AUPE communications: (780) 952-1951

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So it is curious that Points West worked out an agreement with the folks at Points West Living's Heritage House in Vegreville but not the Points West Living facility at Cold Lake. The union claims this is due to the outspoken nature of the dispute in Cold Lake. This seems reasonable as you all know by now of the problems that families have in advocating for loved ones in continuing care-we're subject to evictions, bannings and lawsuits. So this sort of hard line action against workers in Cold Lake to punish them for their outspokenness seems very logical.

Meanwhile what does the government of Alberta have to say about this mess? It's the end of the deal and you would think that even if the GOA doesn't want to get involved in the punitive action taken by a continuing care provider, surely the GOA understands that vulnerable residents are involved and it's our public dollars that are funding this continuing care provider? I mean most of the health care costs of residents in long term care are paid for by the GOA and if folks are on AISH as my handicapped sister is then accommodation costs are also being paid for by the GOA.

The transfer of public dollars to these private providers or really to any provider of continuing care leaves a very large stick in the hands of the GOA. When my sister was evicted from long term care our family was told that if we kept our mouths shut the GOA could get her back to the facility. I am now curious if the GOA uses the stick of funding to get the continuing care providers to jump when the GOA demands they jump.

But supposing the GOA doesn't ask the provider to jump for the financial carrot? Then what? I am curious what will happen in this case as the so called little guy and little gal party of the NDP folks who we all voted for trusting in their baloney of change---I am curious what this morphing in values party will do? Will they eat their electorate?


Of course in Alberta, the corporation is in charge of government so I don't have much hopes for the GOA doing anything other than bleating that this should not be happening.  I guess this junk -like the Sundre episode is good to inform voters about the failures in performance of the NDP folks. They're not quick enough. They don't do the change thing. And they betray our trust. This sure sounds like the PCs we just fired.


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