Housekeeping

Housekeeping hours to be reduced at three Calgary long-term care centers

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Laundry and housekeeping staff at three Calgary long-term care centers will see their hours reduced, according to the union representing the workers.

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The Canadian Union of Alberta Public Employees has said more than 75 part-time and 41 full-time employees at Chinook Care Center, Southwood Care Center and Brentwood Care Center will lose hours, according to a union statement. . CUPE Alberta president Rory Gill said the cuts were mostly to housekeeping and laundry staff, while a reservations clerk would also lose work.

“We are in a pandemic; it’s essential that things stay clean, ”said Gill. “If you reduce the time people can spend on basic housekeeping, you are likely to increase the risk of infection.”

Intercare Corporate Group Inc., operator of the facility, said it was reducing shifts of more than four hours for housekeeping and laundry staff to 15 minutes per shift and one clerk position reservations would be deleted.

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“Due to unprecedented inflationary pressure and a limited increase in monthly accommodation fees, set by the provincial government to help offset these pressures, Intercare is reducing shifts for housekeeping and cleaning employees. laundry that last more than four hours, “said Ian Woodcock, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

He said the positions are not funded directly by the provincial government in the same way as caregivers. He said there is no reduction in resident or patient care staff.

However, Gill argued that the provincial government, through its funding decisions, made it impossible for the operator to maintain current staffing levels.

“I think the current model of service delivery in long-term care is just totally flawed and cannot be done. Long-term care should be part of the public health care system in Canada, ”said Gill.

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“What is the supplier supposed to do if he doesn’t have the money?” To the right? I mean, you know, they have shareholders. Again, I think it’s crazy that you have for-profit business in this industry, but the government says it’s going to work. Well, they have to provide the funding.

Steve Buick, press secretary to Health Minister Jason Copping, said the changes had nothing to do with government funding but were decisions made by the operator to manage cost pressures on services funded by customers.

“Customer charges are capped by government policy. If CUPE suggests that the cap be increased, it should say so, ”said Buick. “The Government of Alberta has supported continuing care providers since the onset of the pandemic, and operators and staff are to be commended for doing their best to provide safe care to residents under the extraordinary stress of the pandemic. ”

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The cuts to long-term care come amid a growing wave of COVID-19 cases that are being fueled by the highly infectious variant of Omicron. Several jurisdictions, including Alberta, have reduced isolation times and in part to ensure there is no shortage of personnel in critical industries.

Fully immunized Albertans who test positive for COVID-19 are currently required to self-isolate for five days, down from a previous 10-day period. Copping previously said exemptions could be granted to workers whose absence from work could have a significant impact on public health.

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