Late last week, the 155 employees of Nanaimo’s Wexford Creek Care Home received layoff notices.
That’s the second time in two years.
Now the Hospital Employees Union is demanding that Island Health take over operations.
150 residents call Wexford Creek Care Home.
Their needs range from complex care to private assisted nursing.
It’s Wendy Chadwick second lay-off in two years.
“We’re pretty somber around here.
Everybody is pretty heartbroken.
I feel really, really, really upset for the families.
As well as the residents.”
A spokesperson with the Good Samaritan Society that operates the facility says its lost 2.6 million dollars over the past eight years due to a lack of funding from Island Health.
So, it’s selling to an unnamed third party who will be responsible for hiring its own staff.
The NDP’s Doug Routley grilled the minister in Question Period on the issue.
“How can the minister justify forcing Nanaimo seniors to face losing their care providers for the second time in two years?”
Health Minister Terry Lake defends the decision.
“We will ensure that there is a smooth transition to any new operator, that the residents are looked after and that their families are looked after.
And we will ensure that they continue to get the high-quality care that they deserve in this care home.”
The Hospital Employees Union Jennifer Whiteside is calling on Island Health to take over operations.
“This constant contract flipping, the constant selling of facilities, means that the very important continuity of care for seniors is ruptured.”
But Island Health’s Norm Peters maintains it will ensure residents’ care is unaffected.
“Our first priority is the quality of care delivered to the residents, and to ensure their families and residents are taken care of during this transition.
The service agreement does allow for the Good Samaritan Society to change ownership.”
Until further notice, the last day of work for staff is September 30th
“This is so upsetting for all of us.
For everyone on staff.
Shame on you VIHA for doing to this to us.”
A conditional sale of the facility is to an unnamed third party.