Laundry closure in nursing homes: another blow to rural New Brunswick

Fredericton ( February 25, 2013):The government’s decision to close laundry facilities in 16 nursing homes in the province is another blow to rural communities in this province.
“Most of the nursing homes affected by this decision are in the northern part of the province.  A region already greatly affected by a poor economy”, said Wayne Brown, President of the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Homes Unions (NBCNHU).

“This decision was taken without any consultation with the Union representing those nursing home employees.  Even though the government assures us that the 28 employees working in those laundries will be transferred in other departments of the nursing homes and that no jobs will be lost, we believe that at least 60 employees will be affected. This decision will have a negative effect in the homes.  The Union will be filing grievances to prevent the reduction of hours”, explained Brown.

“We were called to a meeting this morning and informed that the government decided to close the laundries in order to save $600,000 a year.  We were even more surprised to learn that this decision is coming from a government committee which is looking at finding efficiencies.”

“For years, the government has been telling us that it could not interfere with the nursing homes’ administration; that they were at arm-length. Suddenly, the government can decide by the stroke of a pen to eliminate 16 laundry facilities.”

“If the government was seriously looking to find efficiencies in the nursing homes, they should have consulted with CUPE.  For years, we have been telling the government that millions could be saved in making nursing homes a public service; by regionalizing the administration of the homes, centralizing payroll, purchasing pharmaceutical supplies provincially and doing the same for insurance.”

“This decision also means that the laundry will be trucked to other facilities, increasing the carbon footprint,” concluded Brown.

Here is the list of the nursing homes affected by this decision:
Fundy Nursing Home
Jordan Lifecare Centre
Passamaquoddy Lodge
Kennebec Manor
Kings Way Centre
Rocmaura Nursing Home
Manoir Edith B. Pinet
Résidences Inkerman
Résidences Lucien Saindon
Résidences Monsignor Chiasson
Villa des Jardins
Foyer Notre Dame de St. Leonard
Foyer Ste Elizabeth
Manoir de Grand-Sault
Foyer St.-Joseph de St-Basile
Villa Saint-Joseph