The Newfoundland government is selling off residential care group homes to the private sector. Residents will lose their continuity of care and will experience major upheaval due to changes.
St. John's (15 April 2014) — The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) is strongly condeming the provincial government’s decision to privatize the service provided by publicly operated group homes in Marystown, Stephenville, and Grand Falls-Windsor says NAPE President Carol Furlong.
Newfoundland government adding profit to residential care
“This is clearly a decision by government to privatize publicly operated group homes and lay off public employees,” said Furlong. “It is astounding that in the recent provincial budget government indicated it would not be laying off public employees while decisions were being made in the back rooms to do just that.”
The provincial government recently announced a new framework for staffed residential care. Part of this process included awarding contracts for three group homes to the private sector. The three group homes affected by the new contracts are:
- T.J. MacDonald Achievement Home in Marystown
- Pine Heights Group Home in Grand Falls-Windsor
- Bay St. George Youth Assessment Centre in Stephenville
As a result, 45 public sector workers lost their jobs.
Residential care workers with over 20 years' experience are out of work due to province's decision to privatize
“Government cannot deny that these are public sector workers when their collective agreement is negotiated with government and signed by the Minister of Finance,” stated Furlong.
“Some of the affected employees have over twenty years of service providing care to troubled youth with various complex needs. Their years of experience and expertise will be going out the door as a result of government’s decision to privatize these public services,” said Furlong. “The clients will suffer from a lack of continuity of care and will experience a major upheaval as they try and deal with new workers and a new home environment.”
Furlong is calling on government to immediately reverse the decision to privatize the group homes in question.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE