Staff at The Hamlets get termination notice

About 60 care aides, assisted living workers and recreation aides at The Hamlets in Penticton were told on Wednesday they will be out of work on Aug. 31.

About 60 care aides, assisted living workers and recreation aides at The Hamlets in Penticton were told on Wednesday they will be out of work on Aug. 31.

The Hospital Employees’ Union is now calling for Interior Health Authority to audit the books of the for-profit care facility.

“This is a totally unwarranted disruption in the continuity of care for these residents,” said HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy. “And, the health authority has a responsibility to find out where the money it provides to the operator for the care of local seniors is going.”

The HEU claims Interior Health has increased its payments to H&H Total Care (operators of The Hamlets) by more than 10 per cent last year to $8.2 million. Darcy said yet, the operator is now targeting workers’ wages for rollbacks. About three-quarters of residential care beds are subsidized by Interior Health Authority at The Hamlets, who currently have about 150 employees on staff.

“I guess the question to be asked is just how much profit should this operator be allowed to make from the care of seniors?” said Darcy.

H&H Total Care COO Hendrik Van Ryk said the collective agreement with the 60 or so employees ends on Aug. 31 and funding is the issue behind the terminations.

“We are faced with a no-funding increase from the health authority and there are cost pressures that we have experienced in the past year in light of no funding left. That puts us in the position that we have had to make a decision which was to provide notice to contractor help,” said Van Ryk.

He said H&H Total Care did receive a 10 per cent increase but with new government standards on care hours that also came at a cost.

“We had to increase staff requirements. So its fine to say there was increased funding, but there was a catch. We had to go from 2.8 hours of care per resident per day to 3.15 hours. Well, that all comes at a cost,” said Van Ryk. “If you quickly do the math on say 100 residents and you see the difference it doesn’t really amount to increased revenue, it just amounts to an adjustment to the grid.”

Van Ryk said it would be up to the next contractor who wins the tendering process to decide on who would be hired.  The Hospital Employees Union will still be representing other employees who are not contracted out in support services and the nursing staff.

Just Posted

Justice to decide court’s jurisdiction over Indigenous man

Alex Louie, also known as Senklip, is standing trial over 9 charges related to alleged gun smuggling

Driver trapped for 16 hours after car flips

Member of Anarchist Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in Osoyoos made discovery while out for walk

Increase in carbon monoxide closes Osoyoos arena

South Okanagan arena closed as of Monday morning to deal with repairs

Penticton pilots new mobile parking payment app

Eliminating the need to carry change for parking meters

Artist recruitment begins for 2018 sculpture exhibition

Penticton is looking for sculptors to participate in its second public sculpture exhibition

Rally condemns violence, promotes healing

Discovery of human remains and disappearances of women have created tension in the rural community

Province grants $784,000 for Okanagan projects

Rural Dividend grants support Okanagan community projects

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek RCMP search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Most Read