For immediate Release:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NAPE President Condemns Privatization of Public Sector Group Homes

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) President Carol Furlong is strongly condemning the provincial government’s decision to privatize the service provided by publicly operated group homes in Marystown, Stephenville, and Grand Falls-Windsor.

“This is clearly a decision by government to privatize publicly operated group homes and lay off public employees,” said Furlong. “It is astounding that in the recent provincial budget government indicated it would not be laying off public employees while decisions were being made in the back rooms to do just that.”

The provincial government recently announced a new framework for staffed residential care. Part of this process included awarding contracts for three group homes to the private sector. The three group homes affected by the new contracts are: T.J MacDonald Achievement Home in Marystown, Pine Heights Group Home in Grand Falls-Windsor, and the Bay St. George Youth Assessment Centre in Stephenville. As a result, 45 public sector workers lost their jobs.

“Government cannot deny that these are public sector workers when their collective agreement is negotiated with government and signed by the Minister of Finance,” stated Furlong.

“Some of the affected employees have over twenty years of service providing care to troubled youth with various complex needs. Their years of experience and expertise will be going out the door as a result of government’s decision to privatize these public services,” said Furlong. “The clients will suffer from a lack of continuity of care and will experience a major upheaval as they try and deal with new workers and a new home environment.”

Furlong is calling on government to immediately reverse the decision to privatize the group homes in question.

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For further information please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501            

(cell) 709.631.9737