Lawyer for Sunridge says no staff have been laid off yet

Sunridge Place’s staff may have been surprised and concerned by the 264 layoff notices handed out Monday but there’s no reason for panic yet, according to the lawyer for the present owner.

"Nobody’s been laid off yet," said Tim Charron, who represents Sunridge owner Norm Jones.

Charron confirmed that Jones will sell the seniors facility in June.

"As far as we’re all aware, the facility’s going to continue to operate and provide the same services to the same residents," he said. "The labour legislation, such as it is, requires that when there is going to be a change of ownership and you’re no longer going to be an employer, you have to provide lengthy notice."

The workers received layoff notices but Charron said it’s not hard to understand why.

"Well, if you read the employment standards legislation, if you’re no longer going to be the employer, you have to let the employees know that and you have to give them the notice required in the legislation. That’s what been done."

The union met with the new and old owners Wednesday and the new owners were to meet with the employees later in the week.

According to Margi Blamey, HEU communications officer, the new ownership group is Park Place Seniors Living, which also owns Cerwydden Care Centre in Duncan and New Horizons in Campbell River. Last December, Park Place issued layoff notices to all New Horizons employees.

"Their intention there was to contract out those jobs," Blamey said. "We’re not sure exactly where this sale is at but Sunridge Place did bring us in to meet the prospective new owners. We don’t know that there is any connection between what they are doing at New Horizons."

Monday’s notices say that Sunridge workers’ last day will be June 2. According to HEU secretarybusiness manager Bonnie Pearson, the layoffs were completely unexpected and will create "devastating" disruptions to the seniors who live there.

"The residents and their families trust and depend on the staff at Sunridge to provide assistance with virtually every aspect of daily living. Laying off workers at the same time as the facility’s ownership will be changing hands doubles the upheaval and chaos and is certainly not in the best interest of the residents," Pearson said.

The facility opened in 2008 not long after the bitterly fought closure of Cowichan Lodge.

"At the time, Duncan citizens, seniors’ groups and HEU told Island Health that closing the community’s cherished public facility was a mistake," Pearson said, adding "Now, with the sale of Sunridge Place and subsequent mass staff layoffs, it’s time for Island Health to re-evaluate its privatization of seniors’ care."

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson Column: Diving into Dahl with my darlings

“Why don’t we pull out the Roald Dahl collection we got a couple years ago?”

Renovated Lake Cowichan town hall will include emergency operations centre

Upgrade project expected to be complete within months

Business notes: Realtors raise $10,000 for Nourish Cowichan

The latest from Cowichan’s business community

North Cowichan mayor answers questions about new RCMP detachment

The current building went up in 1980, when there were 30 people working there.

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Most Read