Pay health-care workers a decent, consistent wage

I would like to comment on the strike vote recently taken at Symphony Senior Living (Aspen Ridge) as my wife and I are directly affected if a strike does occur.

I would like to comment on the strike vote recently taken at Symphony Senior Living (Aspen Ridge) as my wife and I are directly affected if a strike does occur.

My wife is a resident of this facility, having become a victim of Alzheimer’s dementia.

This facility is incredibly well run by an extremely competent and caring staff. The quality of the food given to the residents is equal to the very best restaurants in our city. The actual facility is impeccable with excellent care and recreation being provided to its many residents. There are four floors of apartments for independent living and two assisted living units, one of which is a secure locked ward for patients with dementia. This is the ward on which my wife is a resident.

I visit my wife twice a day and have become very close to not only the other residents but the personal care staff. The employees are absolutely incredible and compassionate. It is not a job I could do and I have told my unmarried son to look for a bride in this industry because they are truly beautiful people both inside and out.

The management team is extremely competent and I have total faith that they are trying to resolve this issue. This facility has had a number of identities, including Club Sierra and Masterpiece. It is obviously not an industry that lends itself to huge profits as both of these predecessors ran into financial difficulty.

It is important to my family that the facility as it sits maintains a profitable viability.

However, this industry as a whole obviously has its issues with paying a decent wage to the employees and remaining viable. Last summer, there was a girl in the food services who was in her second year of nursing at RDC. I asked her why she wasn’t caring for the residents instead of this and she said she could make more money in the kitchen. I was at a barbecue last summer and I met a mother of another nursing student and her daughter was also working in the food service industry for the same reason. I said I thought it was because of the tips but her daughter also was only receiving the hourly wage.

I think it says something when we are paying people in the food services industry more than the ones who are providing the care for our loved ones.

As well, most of the caregivers have second jobs to supplement their wages. It is very apparent to me that the staff is doing it because of a genuine concern for our loved ones. At the same time, I sympathize with the employer because they only receive so much funding from Alberta Health Services and have a reasonable expectation that they should receive some return on their investment.

If a strike does occur, it will affect me personally as my wife has built a relationship with her caregivers. Whenever a new employee starts, she becomes quite aggressive towards them. If there is temporary staff in place during a strike, it will not be pretty. I am sure that other residents will also react this way as well.

I hope a settlement makes it fair for not only the staff but also the employer.

R. Dean Cowan

Red Deer

Just Posted

1,200 runners came out to Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Matthew Hope ran in the Woody’s RV World Marathon for… Continue reading

Two men steal 16 year old’s car at gunpoint in Alberta

RCMP are looking for two men who allegedly produced a handgun and… Continue reading

Mother of five who died in hit and run in central Alberta a huge loss to family, police say

Rocky Mountain House RCMP continue to investigate hit and killed case on… Continue reading

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

EDMONTON — Environmental groups targeted by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are shrugging… Continue reading

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says two people are dead after… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of 2019

The event is held every Saturday in the Servus Arena parking lot

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Unions increasingly at odds over replacing troubled Phoenix pay system

OTTAWA — The federal team charged with finding a replacement for the… Continue reading

Sisters of Ste-Anne hold unique garage sale before giving up Montreal convent

MONTREAL — The Montreal-area Sisters of Ste-Anne are hosting a unique garage… Continue reading

Canadian pilot Patrick Forseth killed in Honduras plane crash: sister

TRUJILLO, Honduras — A British Columbia woman says her pilot brother was… Continue reading

As states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface

ATLANTA — As multiple states pass laws banning many abortions, questions have… Continue reading

Pelosi being honoured with JFK Profile in Courage Award

BOSTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being honoured with the 2019… Continue reading

India’s marathon national election reaches the finish line

KOLKATA, India — Voting in India’s mammoth national election ended Sunday with… Continue reading

UK leader promises a ‘bold offer’ on Brexit deal

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May plans a “bold offer” to… Continue reading

Most Read