Staff rehired following care home layoffs

NANAIMO – The majority of 122 employees axed from Nanaimo’s Wexford Creek care facility have been rehired under new contracts.

The majority of 122 employees axed from Nanaimo’s Wexford Creek care facility have been rehired under new contracts.

The Good Samaritan Society announced in April it was considering an end to its contract with Island Health after it handed out pink slips to 122 employees at its south Nanaimo facility, citing chronic underfunding.

Contracts were terminated as of Sept. 25, but employees were given the option to reapply for positions under new terms, including a 3.5-per cent salary rollback.

According to the society, the majority of employees have been rehired. Shawn Terlson, president and chief executive officer of the society, said there are also no plans to change the way it does business and Island Health has indicated it will look at changing the funding formula for public-private partnerships started in 2008.

Funding has been a key issue for the society, which has claimed Island Health’s contribution hasn’t changed in six years despite the rising costs of accommodation, wages and benefits.

“With the tough decision that we had to make earlier in the spring we think that we at least got the site to a point we’re going to continue on with the current business model and then we will see what the future holds as far as funding increases from Island Health,” Terlson said.

Island Health said it has made a commitment to review the funding model for residential care, but it’s not currently underway and there’s no timeline for when a review will take place.