98 The Beach

98 The Beach


Friday, May 17, 2019

Protest Outside Brucelea Haven

Walkerton | by Robyn Garvey  

Through the course of the afternoon, over 200 employees participated.

A protest rally took place at Brucelea Haven Thursday.

Through the course of the afternoon, over 200 employees participated.

Respect. That is what Unifor Union President Tullio DiPonti says the protest is all about.

DiPonti says the protest is a means to show the administration of Brucelea Haven that enough is enough.

He says the new collective agreement may have been approved, but there are still a lot of unhappy employees who have serious concerns about their work culture.

So much so, that 70 per cent of Brucelea Haven union staff rejected the collective agreement that was approved earlier this month.

However, because Brucelea and Gateway Haven share a contract, once the overall union vote was blended together the agreement was approved.

Gateway Haven voted 90 per cent in favour with Brucelea Haven voting only 30% in favour.

Union Representative Ken Durocher says the protest rally is not about the agreement but rather the workplace culture that he claims has been spiraling downhill for the last two to three years.

Durocher says employee morale is at a historic low, with so many issues ignored for so long by management, he says staff are fed up, saying change needs to start at the top.

He says some of the biggest concerns involve scheduling issues, staff shortages, management styles and what he says is failure from administration to listen to concerns.

County Director of Health Services Michael McKeage notes that the recently ratified three year collective agreement includes pay increases, increased staff for shifts, improved seniority entitlements and temporary postings.

In addition, McKeage says the County is bringing in a third party to conduct a Workplace Cultural Assessment in both of its County Homes with Brucelea Haven serving as the beta site.

This Workplace Cultural Assessment will measure the values, collaboration, inclusivity, clarity of goals, and rewards as well as leadership transparency within the County homes.

The cultural assessment will become the foundation of a plan of action for cultural improvement for staff and management at the home.

DiPonte says the Cultural Workplace Assessment is a step in the right direction, but he stresses that he hopes this is not all smoke and mirrors.

DiPonte says there are some serious problems in Brucelea Haven that need to be addressed.

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