About 45 union workers have been locked out of the Variety Place group home in Outlook and 25 residents have been relocated.
Another 5 people that are involved in day programs no longer have that service. This after Direct Care Workers were locked out on Sunday.
The union SEIU-West served strike notice on Thursday May 18th, but President Barbara Cape says the intent was to strike only as a last resort. It was hoped issues could be resolved at the bargaining table.
“The length of time it’s taken to bargain, the amount of money that’s been allocated, or accounted for within a variety of places – funding from the Ministry of Social Services” said Cape. “Those are really huge issues.”
She explains the Direct Care Workers have been without a contract since September of 2013 and there have been issues with finding times for negotiations.
Cape also wonders about the budgeting at the group home and the lack of transparence of where money is being spent.
There was additional funding provided by the government in 2013 to increase front line staff wages by about 9.4 per cent, but members only saw a 1 per cent raise, and that was in
She adds Variety Place is funded for more staff than they have working and there have been issues with retaining casual workers because of the lack of fair wages and lack of respect.