One-sided story

Dear sir:
The executive of CUPE 65 (Rainycrest) insists that the board of directors and Rainycrest management stop using the media to spin public opinion against the hourly employees of Rainycrest.
On Friday, Oct. 1, Mayor Dan Onichuk publicly stated on B•93’s “Talkback” show that the employees of Rainycrest should concentrate on their jobs and not be distracted by the current public debate about the home’s financial problems.
We ask the mayor to explain to the staff of Rainycrest how they are to ignore the public debate when the management and the board of directors are consistently being quoted in local newspapers that the “costs to operate Rainycrest Home for the Aged are one of the highest in the province, the major expense being labour.” (Daily Bulletin, Sept. 23, 2004; Fort Frances Times, Sept. 29, 2004).
Statements like this can only lead the public to believe that the home is overstaffed or the staff is overpaid, or both. The article that appeared in the Sept. 29, 2004 edition of the Times goes on to state that the “current daytime ratio of staff to residents is 1:10, the minimum allowed,” which must mean that the staff is overpaid.
In a July 28, 2004 article in the Times, Rainycrest board chair Dennis Brown stated that costs continue to increase, yet the current collective agreement has been in place since last year. A collective agreement which the board approved—and administration helped to negotiate.
If costs are continuing to increase still, this can only mean that the increase it due to other reasons. Reasons which, when feeding the press information, are rarely associated with the deficit situation.
“The chief reason must be labour” seems to be the new board mantra.
Half-truths and innuendo is tantamount to bargaining in bad faith. We would ask that in the future, the media report the whole story and allow the public both sides to form an unbiased opinion.
Our members would like nothing better than to continue focusing on resident care—our number-one priority. Are the administration, board of directors, and town council prepared to support us in this?
Thank you,
C.U.P.E. 65,
Rainycrest Home
for the Aged

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