After a week of stalling and delaying a mediator’s attempts to get them back to the bargaining table, the owners of Monterey Place seniors facility reportedly told replacement workers that they expect to keep regular staff locked out for up to a year.
“This shows the employer’s true colours,” said John Wevers, staff negotiator with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents more than 90 locked-out workers. “We came to the table expecting to settle this dispute, but the employer has now made it clear they have no intention of negotiating.”
Staff were locked out on June 26 by Monterey Place’s owners, Triple A Living Communities, who are trying to pressure the employees into accepting a contract that pays wages and benefits well below the industry standard.
A government-appointed mediator tried to get both sides back to the table on Aug. 1, but Triple A cancelled at the last minute. They finally met on Aug. 4, where AUPE presented an offer. Triple A’s owners walked away without responding, other than to say they might present a “final offer” some time down the road.
Later in the weekend, a source within the Triple A organization told AUPE members that management expects the lockout to last a year.
“These tactics are unconscionable,” said AUPE President Guy Smith. “This employer has forced more than 90 experienced, skilled people onto a picket line at a time when there’s a shortage of health-care workers across the system. Not only is Triple A ripping off taxpayers, its conduct is having negative consequences for seniors and their families.”
Triple A currently receives taxpayer funding to pay its nursing staff at the same level as Alberta Health Services employees. It currently pays its staff up to 27 per cent less and pockets the difference.
For more information, go to www.stoptheripoff.ca.
For more information, contact:
Guy Smith, AUPE President: (780) 265-2294
John Wevers, AUPE staff negotiator: (780) 238-4767
Andrew Hanon, AUPE communications: (780) 930-5218