AUPE protests nursing home closures

A second rally has been added to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees’ campaign to prevent the closure of two Red Deer nursing homes.

A second rally has been added to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees’ campaign to prevent the closure of two Red Deer nursing homes.

In addition to the rally Tuesday at Red Deer Nursing Home from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there will be another rally at Valley Park Manor on June 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“We wanted to make sure all those members had time to be involved. We have different work schedules,” said AUPE vice-president Jason Heistad. “(It is) just another opportunity to make sure we’re informing the public about what’s going on with those facilities.”

Red Deer Nursing Home is the workplace of 105 AUPE members, consisting of 70 nursing staff members and 35 in general support, and 99 AUPE members work at Valley Park Manor, with 70 nursing staff members and 29 in general support.

Michener Hill Village opens in September, and the residents of Red Deer Nursing Home and Valley Park Manor are still on track to be moved over at that time, according to an Alberta Health Services spokeswoman.

“There really has been no new developments. The plan is still to move residents in September to Michener Hill, and continue to evaluate the potential for the two older facilities. . . . They’re trying to decide if they’re able to repurpose the buildings or what they are going to be used for down the road,” said AHS communications advisor Gjenna Vold.

Concerns have been raised that the new facility won’t add a substantial number of long-term care beds to the area, and that the private operator of Michener Hill, although funded by the government, won’t provide an equivalent level of care.

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