An Open Letter to Variety Place Board Members

To the Board of Directors – Variety Place Association Inc.

Dear Members of the Board:

Variety-place (002)

Support locked out DCWs at Variety Place!

Given your refusal to allow us time on your June 26, 2017 Board of Directors meeting agenda, we have opted for an alternate method of communication. We are determined to share information that sets out the perspective of our members who remain locked out from Variety Place Association Inc. The following questions are intended to share the insight of our members who would describe a lack of dignity and respect displayed by the management in ongoing interactions with our members.

Fair Employment Concerns: As a Board member

  • are you aware that SEIU-West withdrew their strike notice on June 6, 2017? Does it not concern you that the employees have not been able to return to work and the residents & participants have not been able to return to their homes and programs?
  • are you aware that employees have repeatedly been required to contact the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, because of DENIAL of holidays, in order to be credited with four (4) weeks of earned vacation credits after 10 years of service?
  • does it concern you that there have been a number of incidents wherein employees have been refused a needed absence from the workplace due to serious family illness and/or deaths of family members? Would you not prefer such instances to be managed with a sense of compassion?

Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Concerns: As a Board member

  • are you aware that the management have directed employees to use no more than three disposable gloves per participant per day for changing? On a practical level, there are some participants that require up to eight changes per day. Based on best infection control practices, do you support this direction from our employer?
  • do you have any concerns with management directing employees to get down on their hands and knees to scrub baseboards and floors? Do you see the potential for injury in this instruction? Does it concern you that we do not have similar supplies and equipment to ensure infection control measures that is used in other workplaces (such as hospitals)?
  • do you have concerns about employees being denied annual holidays and having to forego their annual rest period?

    open letter

    Our open letter to the VP Board

  • is it concerning to you that management has directed some employees to provide a sick note from their doctor on their first day of illness? Are you aware that the collective agreement provides for the employer to request a sick note after three days of illness? Do you see this as a method of building trust with one’s employees and/or do you see this as an appropriate use of health care resources?

 Financial Stewardship Matters: As a Board member

  • do you not share the concerns of our members who wonder why there is a growing surplus in the food budget each year, yet at supper time on any number of days there will not be enough portions to feed all the residents?
  • do you know whether an open tendering process has been undertaken to ensure transparency and accountability in the ongoing, significant building renovations process and contracts? Can this information be shared?

What remains even more troubling is the persistent denial of any opportunity to hear firsthand from the employees that you entrust to provide compassionate care to residents and participants on a daily basis.

We thank you in advance for your attention to our questions and look forward to receiving your speedy and thoughtful reply to our questions.

Yours truly,

The locked out Direct Care Workers of Variety Place

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