I never thought that I’d agree with Keith Maxwell on anything, particularly his views concerning the ongoing debate about private care. But in his previous letter to this newspaper, he stated that “staffing levels” dictate quality of care. On that, he and I agree. But I must take issue when he lumps “staffing” in with the inanimate expenses of running a business. In the same issue of Coast Reporter, there is another article, this one about the Huckleberry Childcare Centre in Gibsons. They, too, are having difficulty with “staffing” – they can’t find any!
Businesses that dismiss wages as just another operational cost are increasingly finding themselves in similar difficulty. The human beings who become the employees of these businesses have prepared themselves to be caregivers at considerable personal expense. Government regulations dictate that those who care for our very old and our very young must have extensive training. The cost of this training continues to go up, while wages continue to go down. Minimum wage levels continue to be a bone of contention, but the fact is that people must be paid at a level that will sustain them, or they must find a job that will.
Mr. Maxwell seems to think that highly trained people will flock eagerly to the proposed new private facility to work for whatever wage and benefit package that Trellis might see fit to pay. And his glib assertions that wages and benefits will be “similar” to what is offered now do not hold water. Trellis may build it, but they won’t come! You need look no further than the Huckleberry Childcare Centre to see the truth of that.
Marilynn Green, Gibsons