Bonnie Haley has been a personal support worker (PSW) at the Glen Hill Marnwood long-term care home in Bowmanville for 22 years. On Tuesday at around midnight, during her overnight shift, her employer, Durham Christian Homes, presented her with a layoff notice.

Haley is one of 60 long-term care workers being laid off by the non-profit Durham Christian Homes simply because the home and its residents are relocating to a new building: Glen Hill Terrace Whitby.

CUPE Ontario secretary treasurer Candace Rennick said the workers’ collective agreement has a scope clause specifying that workers are covered by the agreement in Bowmanville. She said the company is using that clause to get away from the collective agreement in place.

Initially, Durham Christian Homes offered to carry its staff over to the new building, but demanded that there be concessions to the collective agreement, including wage freezes (red-circling), reduced benefits and the introduction of a two-tier pay system for new hires.

These were not concessions that CUPE was prepared to make, said Rennick.

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