Health care aides at Winnipeg hospitals say morale on the units is at an all-time low as support workers face uncertainty, a shift into shift work and reduced hours in the near future.
Hundreds of letters of deletion were handed out to support staff at the Grace and St. Boniface hospitals last week. The workers who received them have weeks to decide whether to apply for a different job, bump someone with less seniority, or get laid off.
“People are scared, people are worried how they’re going to support their families, they’re worried about if they’re going to have a job left at the end of the day, if they’re going to possibly have to bump out a coworker,” said Terry Rear, a staffing clerk at a facility in Winnipeg. She also is the director for the health care support services group with the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union, which represents staff at the Victoria General Hospital.
But day shift-only schedules are no longer available, replaced by mixtures of days, evening and night shifts, and full-time positions are rare.
“The morale is so low. They’re scared, what if they have to start bumping out their coworkers for positions at the end of this, so you know that’s a really awful thing too. It’s horrible.”
The turmoil has been ongoing since the WRHA announced last week that 700 support worker positions will be affected by the latest round of province-wide changes. The employees impacted include health care aides, unit clerical assistants, housekeeping and dietary staff, among others, from the Grace Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital, the Health Sciences Centre and a few from the Misericordia Health Centre and and Seven Oaks Hospital.
Patient care impacted?
Health care support workers at St. Boniface Hospital said the changes have caused widespread anxiety that has impacted staff attendance and patient care.
“People are scared they’re not going to have a job at the end of the day. So you’re…