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Well-Being Services – Renfrew Care Centre - BCGEU

This week you spoke to your union about the shocking conditions that you've been working under. There are so many unacceptable circumstances they are too many to list. 

Your courage and solidarity to support each other and the residents through the pandemic and now an outbreak are nothing short of heroic. 

BCGEU President Stephanie Smith wrote to Vancouver Coastal Health today to insist that they take Renfrew Care Centre under Health Authority administration. You can read the letter here. This means that VCH would run the facility until the operation, staffing and resident care can be stabilized with stable and competent management with the hope that administration can eventually be returned to the facility operator. 

Renfrew Care Centre is part of the West Coast Seniors Housing Management operation, also know as Retirement Concepts. They still have a number of facilities under Health Authority administration in other areas of the province and sadly are no stranger to cutting corners at the expense of staff and residents. Just before the pandemic broke this year, 30% of Retirement Concepts beds in BC and four facilities were under Health Authority administration. 

We surveyed all our members working in long term care and assisted living earlier this year it's clear that most of you would prefer to work directly for a Health Authority or a non-profit. The Seniors Advocate has written at length on the failure of the for-profit model of seniors care and the BCGEU has a campaign that you can add your voice to here.

We can't thank you enough for taking the time to meet with us earlier this week and share your stories. We are hopeful that our letter to VCH today will move them to take the necessary action to safeguard both you and the residents at Renfrew Care Centre. We're committed to continuing to work with you to improve your immediate circumstances and those across the seniors care system. 

In solidarity, 

Mahen Ramdharry
Component 4 Vice President

Download PDF of notice here