VEGREVILLE – Points West Living, the private, for-profit company that owns Century Park supportive living facility in Vegreville, has rejected an independent mediator’s recommendations for settlement, prompting a strike vote to be scheduled at the worksite for Oct. 30.
“A strike vote is something we wanted to avoid,” said Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Negotiator Kevin Davediuk. “But we need to do what’s right for the residents and the staff who care for them.”
“Employees at Century Park voted in favour of a mediator’s report in early October. The employer, with no reason given, rejected it,” said Davediuk.
“We’re unsure why Points West Living, which currently gives staff the Alberta Health Services standard, is deciding future employees are not worth what their coworkers receive,” said AUPE President Guy Smith.
Points West Living told AUPE a reason for their rejection of the report would be given by Oct. 15. To date, the union has received nothing from the employer.
“Points West is refusing to give any details as to why they rejected the report,” said Smith.
“The employer is offering a two-tiered compensation system, which undermines new staff, and may cause conflict,” said Smith.
“Employees are already working short-staffed. Telling prospective employees they will be worth less than their coworkers destabilizes residents’ quality of care and may prevent skilled nursing staff from taking a position with Century Park,” said Smith.
“It’s irresponsible and adds risk to residents’ well-being. At a time when seniors care staff are desperately needed all over the province, a move like this by an employer is risky,” Smith said.
Should members choose to strike, AUPE will offer life and limb support to residents in the case of emergencies. The union is committed to giving families 72-hour notice prior to strike action.
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees represents nursing staff and other seniors care employees at the 40-unit facility.
Vegreville is located approximately 100 kilometres east of Edmonton.
For more information:
Kevin Davediuk, AUPE Negotiator: 780-729-7916
Guy Smith, AUPE President: 780-265-2294
Tyler Bedford, AUPE Communications: 780-930-3406