Plans are on hold for a workers’ strike that was set to begin Monday at a senior independent living complex in Salmon Arm.
The BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) issued a Jan. 16 notice, stating Vantage Living Inc., which runs Lakeside Manor, had applied for mediation to take place on Jan. 25. The union said planned job action had been postponed in the hopes that “a fair deal can be reached in mediation and without disruption to the residents.”
This announcement followed a 72-hour strike notice issued by the union at 11 a.m. on Jan. 13. The union said this notice followed several months of negotiations “that have yet to result in an agreement that provides wage increases that address the rising cost of living and will reduce high staff turnover.”
“This dispute is about seniors’ care workers fighting for the respect and support they deserve, and the respect and support those in their care deserve,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. “Our members are demanding fair compensation so they can put a stop to the revolving door of poorly paid workers and deteriorating conditions at Lakeside Manor.”
The BCGEU is pursuing wage increases in line with inflation. It said most of its workers are currently earning minimum wage, with the highest pay being $20.90 per hour.
“This is another case of a for-profit company prioritizing the bottom line over wages and working conditions and by extension, the conditions of care residents experience,” said Smith. “For this reason, Lakeside Manor residents are also engaged and supporting members’ actions to improve conditions for everyone that lives and works in the facility.”
The union said its bargaining committee remains dedicated to reaching an agreement without commencing job action.
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