Striking care home nurses ask province to step in

Edmonton nurses on strike at a seniors care centre are now asking the province to step in to their dispute.

The 15 workers walked off the job at the Devonshire Care Centre on New Year’s Eve, saying that the company pays them $9 an hour less in wages and benefits than staff at other care homes in the city.

The nurses’ union has now filed a formal complaint against Park Place, the for-profit owner of the care home, accusing the company of negotiating in bad faith.

They say talks were set for next week, but Park Place pulled out. The union is now asking the province’s labour board to force the company back into negotiations.

“And we believe they have a responsibility, an accountability to make sure that Park Place deals fairly with the nurses it employs,” said Heather Smith, president of United Nurses of Alberta.

Nurse Nerlyn Camat says the employees of the care home are hoping to get the dispute worked out quickly with the hope of returning to their patients.

“Well, it feels awful that they are suffering. You know that's their home. And we feel bad that they are suffering, but we're doing this for them as well,” she said.

Park Place Seniors Living could not be reached for comment.

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