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Care home workers vote to strike

» Hillcrest Place employees will walk on March 24

Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon, near 26th Street and Park Avenue.

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Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon, near 26th Street and Park Avenue.

Employees at Hillcrest Place personal care home in Brandon could be the picket lines in less than two weeks, after voting to reject a final contract offer.

Union representatives from the care home say that they currently earn less money than any other care home in the city, and that the contract offer didn't do enough to reduce that gap.

"The wage gap between workers at Hillcrest and other personal care homes is baffling" said Phyllis Denbow, president of CUPE Local 2526, which representing approximately 100 health care aides, dietary aides and kitchen staff. "We range anywhere from $3 to $5 less per hour than employees doing the same work elsewhere, it’s just not fair."

The union also says that many employees at Hilcrest, which is operated by Extendicare, are working short staffed — with not enough health care aides per shift to adequately care for all residents.

The vote was held on Tuesday after bargaining reached a stalemate, despite meetings with a conciliation officer in February and again earlier in March.

The union says that the strike will start on Monday, March 24 at 7 a.m.

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