Chartwell’s pandemic profiteering off seniors’ care demonstrates need to move away from for-profit system
"Chartwell's actions prove once again that the profit motive is directly at odds with supporting the kind of care system that workers and seniors' deserve." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (26 April 2021) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is appalled to learn that Chartwell Retirement Residences, where the union represents 125 members at 2 of its long-term care facilities in B.C., provided executive bonuses for "100% customer satisfaction during the pandemic." At the same time, Chartwell rejected a proposal to provide frontline workers a living wage despite their tireless efforts to care for residents during the pandemic.
For profit companies in long-term care reward executives, not workers
"It's unconscionable — but it's how the for-profit system works and why our union has been advocating for an end to for-profit seniors' care in B.C.," said Stephanie Smith, President of the BCGEU. "This is an egregious example of an inequitable distribution of profits at the expense of those doing the hard work on the ground, especially when you consider the billions in taxpayer dollars paid to for-profit companies to pay these worker's wages for care delivery."
BCGEU/NUPGE fighting for worker's right beyond bargaining table
Despite Chartwell's recommendation to reject the wage proposal, unitholders will still have a chance to vote on it at the company's annual meeting to be held on May 20, 2021. As a unitholder in Chartwell, the BCGEU/NUPGE has actively engaged with the company on board oversight of risk management and intends to vote in favour of the proposal to provide frontline workers a minimum living wage. The BCGEU/NUPGE became a unitholder in Chartwell in 2020 as part of its shareholder advocacy program to fight for workers' rights beyond the bargaining table.
Now in the third wave of the pandemic, Canada continues to hold the worst record among wealthy nations for COVID-19-related deaths in long-term care facilities. With thousands of those deaths occurring in for-profit facilities including at Chartwell, calls across Canada to abolish for-profit long-term care continue.
Take profit out of LTC — build non-profit, publicly delivered system
"Chartwell's actions prove once again that the profit motive is directly at odds with supporting the kind of care system that workers and seniors' deserve," Smith continued. "It's time for government to take action by building a non-profit, publicly delivered system in our province and across Canada."
Sign BCGEU's petition to end for-profit seniors' care in B.C. here: www.seniorsdeservebetter.ca
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE