Care home worker left feeling 'used', following outbreak at Millrise Seniors Village
CALGARY -- A care worker hired at Millrise Seniors Village -- after dozens of staff were granted a leave of absence during a COVID-19 outbreak-- has had her hours drastically reduced.
She’s not the only one, according to the union.
CTV News spoke with the woman hired at the facility at the end of April on the condition of confidentiality because of concerns she’ll lose even more shifts.
“The hiring package we signed, it was full time," she said. "We worked full time just over a month."
Alberta Health Services took over the facility at the beginning of May from Retirement Concepts, following complaints from families that their loved ones weren’t receiving proper care.
41 cases of COIVD-19 and six deaths are linked to the facility.
According to Retirement Concepts, 30 staff members had to isolate because of COVID-19 and 34 employees took a leave of absence when the site became ‘COVID-19 positive’.
Barbara Berry, the Director of Communications for West Coast Seniors Housing Management which manages Retirement Concepts told CTV News most of the employees who took leaves had "underlying health conditions which made them vulnerable."
The leaves were in accordance with the collective agreement.
“I can’t blame any member or any worker who chooses not to work in a facility that had COVID for whatever personal reasons they have,” said Bonnie Gostola, a vice-president with the Alberta Union of Provincial Workers.
Recently, the union said some employees have come back from leave.
Union not consulted
Gostola told CTV News the union was not consulted when hiring new workers.
To complicate the matter, there is a new company in charge of day to day operations – AgeCare.
AHS is still the official administrator of Millrise Seniors Village.
A statement from the company said staff were hired to "temporarily fill" the leave of absence positions and "are now able to apply to other temporary positions at Millrise."
The worker is hoping some there’s a solution that can be found.
"I'd like to see if someone can hear us, respect that we stepped forward," she said. "We helped the facility."