Must express anger

This action will facilitate the contracting out of those workers jobs

I must express the concern and anger I feel with respect to decision of Park Place the owners of the New Horizons senior care facility to give the 118 workers at the facility layoff notices.

As detailed in the Mirror and Islander this action will facilitate the contracting out of those workers jobs. A New Horizons press release states “in line with the BC government’s directive to control costs, Island Health is looking at all operators to deliver care and services within their assigned funding.” Does anyone really believe this is the motive behind the action? I do not. I believe it’s about profit plain and simple and it is wrong on so many levels.

First and foremost, we must be concerned about the residents of the facility. They are our mothers and fathers who have worked their whole lives and who deserve to live out their twilight years in comfort, dignity, and respect. They have formed real bonds with their caregivers. Recent experience with “contracting out” at other facilities suggests it leads to a lower standard of care. We need only look to our local hospitals for examples. Is this what we want for our seniors?

Second are the jobs themselves. Are you prepared to let a number of “good” jobs go in favour of those with sub-standard wages. I am not. But it’s not about me. It’s about community and family . Campbell River once had a lot of good union jobs.

We lost the mill and other health care jobs were contracted out. Now many of the good jobs are in Alberta. The average family struggles to make ends meet.

This is a trend that must come to an end.

Third, we need to look to the future. We must protect and create jobs that will allow our children to stay in this community and raise their families.

Unfortunately, this action by Park Place takes us in the opposite direction. I hope that that concerned citizens will contact their MLAs to demand action and when the next election comes around demand that the candidates take a stand for “Quality Health Care”.

Tom Hopkins

President, Northern Vancouver Island Area Council, PSAC