The Union marvels at the spin CAMH can place upon this round of layoffs of front-line clinicians…trying to make a silk purse from a sows’ ear.

In fact, the response from some stewards is what has prompted the Union to invite you to find out the real truth.

Between Tuesday April 19 and Thursday April 21, approximately 30 employees of Unit 2-5 and CAITS were told they would either be laid off or be invited to another meeting to receive a series of options to assist them in keeping their employment intact. Whew, what a relief, you might remain employed at CAMH.

The announcement yesterday to the employees that Unit 2-5 is closing sent a ripple of disbelief through the programs. Why close a REHAB program? Good question, as it sends the message that the rehabilitation of clients is over, the staff did such a great job that clients no longer require any rehabilitation moving forward—interesting theory.

The downsizing and reskilling of CAITS was also a shock—and let’s be clear right here—the layoff of CT1’s-qualified addiction counselors is also a real shock, as if the centre was unaware that clients with an addiction would have multiple medical issues which needed to be monitored by Nurses…imagine.

We think there was a place for both sets of skills in this program, but alas management has a different, narrow approach to resolving their difficult problems. It appears the workload will simply intensify for those remaining with the program, but they will have Nurses now working with them.

So, let’s go back to the beginning… so you can see where the disconnect really starts.

The Union meets every year with the Finance Department of CAMH, so they can advise us that once again there has been a zero increase to the base hospital funding–which means there will be an impact on positions and employees at CAMH.

This year, the Finance folks thought it would be great to present the Union with how “wonderful” CAMH was really doing, including how great it was that the Foundation was able to solicit as much money as they had, and what wonderful partners we now had and specifically the McCain Family was mentioned, along with the new McCain Building at White Squirrel Way.

The Union was puzzled at the “bragging” rights, but given that I, as President, have recently had my employment threatened by Human Resources, I thought perhaps they might not appreciate any comments, so we all remained quiet and allowed the presentation to continue.

So—you got it—NO ONE in the room had any idea the McCain building was closed except for the Union folks. Why has the McCain building closed already—LAYOFFS.

What is just so incredible to the Union—is the lack of knowledge, the lack of empathy and the lack of thoughtfulness moving forward—it simply is nonexistent.

We hope that the next presentation is done with some thought and genuine concern for the removal of programs, closure of beds and the layoff of dedicated, qualified staff who give everything they have to really TRANSFORM LIVES.

The layoff process will continue sadly, and the folks who will be able to assist you through this process are the Union.

The real message from CAMH is this: YOU ARE REPLACEABLE.

About opseulocal500

Union office Unit 1, B-2A, (Basement, room 2A), Queen Street West Site 1001 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M6J 1H4 Tel: 416 535-8501 x32330 Fax: 416-583-1254 Email: OPSEU.Local500@camh.ca
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