What Matters Most
When moving day finally arrived, the energy was palpable. The excitement of the moment coursed through the hallways: members were discussing individual care plans and comforting nervous and confused residents with softly spoken words and reassuring embraces, while managers convened last-minute huddles to ensure everyone understood their role for the day.
This moment was a big deal for Local 304 members and the residents they care for at Saugeen Valley Nursing Home in Mount Forest, Ontario. The goal was to safely and securely move residents into their new home across the street. Months and months of preparation went into this singular moment.
The new building is significantly bigger, and it is state of the art. It has an industrial kitchen, spacious resident care rooms, serveries on each floor so that residents do not have to travel between floors for their meals, and beautiful common areas with large west-facing windows. There are marquees in each of the hallways to better assist members in answering call bells or emergencies.
The day was a huge success, with all 87 residents moved into their new home in under three hours.
That was no small feat, and it was all thanks to the hard work of the entire team, which had to overcome the tragic death of a beloved staff member, Erin McComb, just three days prior to the move. The team rallied around one another, sharing stories of Erin and some tears, too.
As death often does, it refocussed everyone’s attention on what matters most. More than 80 members work at the home and have been represented by CLAC since 1984. Together, they’ve developed a relationship with management built on mutual respect and cooperation. But as with all long term care homes, they’ve faced challenges over the years that have tested that relationship.
On this day, members and managers busily worked together. They set aside all differences of opinion on collective agreement issues and outstanding grievances to concentrate on the bigger picture—helping each other. So many small, fleeting moments of attention and compassion were demonstrated between residents, members, and managers alike as they worked side by side toward a common goal: to make moving day a success.