As a former employee of FFDACL (front-line staff), I would like to speak to the strike issue. First of all, I would like to give you an account of a few of the incidents I witnessed with the clients.
On two separate occasions, I witnessed a client crossing the tracks at Victoria Avenue while there was a train there. I called Hudson Drive to management’s office and was re-directed by an answering machine to the four-plex apartment. This line was busy for an hour.
On another occasion, I witnessed a client walking uptown for about a mile to a restaurant in 90-degree plus heat. The client was wearing two big sweatshirts plus a fall/spring jacket over them and wind-breaker pants. The radio and TV repeatedly were stressing the dangerous heat and complications from it.
This client also had to walk back home for about a mile.
On another occasion, I witnessed a client sitting on a street curb at 7 p.m. He seemed confused and asked me, “When is my ride coming? I have been sitting here waiting for two hours to go to work?”
There also was another incident that happened in a public place but I will not discuss it because of confidentiality and respect for the client.
Now I ask you is this quality care? Our clients are very special people and they do not deserve to be uprooted from their homes for months and living in a state of confusion. They deserve to be safe, healthy, and happy.
How can this happen? It is simple math. Give the front-line staff, of whom I might say give so much of themselves to the clients and go far beyond the call of duty, the raise in pay and pensions that they are so deserving of.
Is this such a hard decision for the board to make? Or should I be asking who does make the decisions?
I also would like to ask are there clients being facilitated by Riverside Health Care with CCU? If so, what is the cost for this care? What is the cost for rent on the consignment shop per month to remain unused? What is the dollar loss for the closure of Good Impressions?
And more importantly, how big of a setback is this for the clients?
There are about 63 front-line staff on strike for 100-plus days. Where are their wages going? If management can afford to shirk their responsibilities of office management duties and give 100 percent to caring for clients, then shouldn’t one be asking if management is top heavy and the dollars saved at the end of the spectrum could be distributed better at the care end of the spectrum.
Our clients need and deserve the quality care that front-line staff can give them. So let’s stop the power trips and get back to the bargaining table.
P.S. What is the ACL’s mission statement?