Symphony Senior Living Aspen Ridge Voluntarily Gives 5% Wage Increases While Negotiating and AUPE Files Strike Notice Seeking Much More.

Following 18 months of ongoing negotiations with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees ("AUPE"), Symphony Senior Living Aspen Ridge ("Aspen Ridge") received a strike notice for Friday, January 25, 2013. This was despite Aspen Ridge voluntarily increasing wages for Health Care Aides and Nurses by greater than 5% without even completing a new collective bargaining agreement. Aspen Ridge subsequently filed a lockout notice to ensure consistency in quality care for its residents. The company's priority is the well being, safety, and peace‐of-mind of the residents and provision of consistent, quality service. During the labour action, the regular management team of Aspen Ridge will oversee all aspects of the daily operation and has contracted with a professional, experienced and respected agency to provide the services normally provided by permanent employees.

RED DEER, AB, Jan. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Aspen Ridge has been  actively engaged in good faith negotiations with the AUPE for 18 months, and the union has consistently rejected management proposed wage increases.  Aspen Ridge understands that the principal AUPE promise to its members is to move towards hospital and nursing home wage parity for Health Care Aides and Nurses. Aspen Ridge voluntarily, outside of negotiations, gave Health Care Aides and Nurses a wage increase greater than 5% in November 2012. The AUPE, however, continues to push for even greater wages in excess of 30% over four years. Aspen Ridge is an Assisted Living property operated by Symphony Senior Living and is not a nursing home or a hospital. Wage structures differ between these two industries. Aspen Ridge provides market competitive wages that are above average in the senior housing industry based on its industry survey. The AUPE has filed a strike notice for Friday, January 25, 2013 despite Aspen Ridge's voluntary wage increases and good faith negotiations. The employees of Aspen Ridge were certified by the AUPE in 2011. "We are committed to ensuring quality resident care and a healthy work environment for our team members. We have tried very hard to compromise with the Union's position, but unfortunately they are stuck on very high wage increases over the next 4 years. Businesses dependent on elderly customers with fixed incomes cannot sensibly sustain 30%+ wage increases." Lisa Brush, CEO, Symphony  Senior  Living.

Symphony's purpose is to develop, acquire and manage beautiful senior living communities in North America, where we deliver compassionate dignified care and a full spectrum of supportive services.

SOURCE: Symphony Senior Living

For further information:

Contact: Catherine Asplen
Symphony Senior Living Office:
(416) 366--‐3888 x112
Fax: (416) 366--‐3889
casplen@symphonyseniorliving.com
www.symphonyseniorliving.com