CALGARY –Today, nursing care and support staff who work at Calgary’s Newport Harbour care facility are hosting a rally outside of the building and taking a stand for quality care and a fair contract. Their employer, Park Place Seniors Living, has continued to come to the bargaining table unprepared to negotiate a fair collective agreement.

The rally will start at 12 pm (noon) at 10 Country Village Cove NE. Media, workers and Calgarians are invited to attend.

“Our members have been in bargaining with Park Place for over a year now to renew their collective agreement.

“Frankly, little progress was made in that time. When the employer wasn’t delaying bargaining, they were tightening their purse strings, denying resources to the frontlines of their facilities,” said AUPE Vice-President and health care aide (HCA) Bonnie Gostola.

Calgary seniors pay out-of-pocket to call Newport Harbour home. The facility also receives full public funding from Alberta Health Services (AHS) for providing long-term care.

Currently, several HCAs at Newport Harbour are earning below the mid point wage rate of AHS employees. Staff who fill other positions are making less in total compensation than most other Calgary long-term care workers.

“Park Place is getting two sources of revenue for providing the care services our members do around the clock, yet they’re not paying them what they’re worth. The employer claims they can’t afford to change this – we have to wonder where they’re spending their money,” adds Gostola.

The last time the two parties met to continue negotiations on Dec. 15, 2018, AUPE requested to see financial materials supporting the employer’s subpar wage proposals. Park Place Seniors Living did not provide anything and instead tabled a final offer.

“What we do know is funds not making their way to the frontlines are pocketed as profit, creating an unequal distribution of wealth between company owners and staff, and between long-term care workers in Calgary,” said Gostola.

“Our members are rallying today because they believe public funding should serve everyday Albertans, workers and long-term care residents alike, not company owners and stakeholders in BC trying to turn a profit. ”