Extended weekend talks failed following a temporary postponement of the
lockout and strike agreed to Friday, January 25, 2013. Symphony Senior
Living conceded on almost every term, including significant wage
increases, but refuses to compromise quality care and safety for
RED DEER, AB, Jan. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - As a result of continuous good faith
negotiations, only after the employer proposed a significant movement
on the wage issue, the AUPE agreed to a temporary postponement of a
strike and lockout originally planned for this past Friday, January 25,
2013. Negotiations continued throughout the weekend, as Symphony
Senior Living continued a good faith, flexible approach to the
discussions, agreeing to significant wage increases, generous severance
plans, minimal changes to employee benefits, seniority preferences, and
many more pro-employee terms.
Only one article of the collective bargaining agreement remained
unresolved after arduous weekend talks and consistent concessions made
by Symphony Senior Living. The company's steadfast commitment to
quality care and quality staff remains and is not up for negotiation.
The unresolved matter centers on the company's restriction to remove a
worker for non-cause reasons such as lack of empathy, passion or
dedication to seniors. "Sometimes employees are hired only to discover the job is a bad fit.
This happens in any business. Anyone can give a bath, a pill or comb
your hair; not everyone can make you feel like a valuable person and in
a life worth living. Residents can be easily intimidated and scared, and the quality of life
severely changed, if they are subjected to staff that are not
passionate and dedicated to the position," states Lisa Brush, Symphony's CEO and veteran in the senior living
In the event of a termination without cause, the company offered a
generous severance package of 3 months pay in the first year, and then
one month for each year of service thereafter. This was offered in
continuing good faith and to send the message that they care for
employees even when a job doesn't work out.
The AUPE refused to negotiate on this quality-dependent term, despite
its President, Guy Smith, stating "Care needs to come first. That's what these caregivers are fighting for." Negotiations failed to produce a mutually agreeable outcome based on
this one remaining item and the strike and lockout will continue
tomorrow, January 28, 2013 at 1pm.
"The union is unable to give on this point, as it is part of their
philosophy of protecting workers at any cost; even when the cost is an
elderly resident. We have done everything we can and regret the
union's unwavering position on this item even though we've offered
generous severance. We remain fully prepared for the strike," states Brush.
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: Lisa Brush, CEO
Symphony Senior Living
Fax: (416) 366-3889