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CarePartners spends on new technology while crying poor to front line staff

NIAGARA — CarePartners may be crying poor to their striking staff in Niagara and Norfolk County, but BlackBerry is happy to tell the world of the home care company’s latest technological purchase.

BlackBerry issued a release today crowing about a joint venture with app maker CellTrak to provide CarePartners with a new mobile health care management system.

“For home care clients forced to take taxi cabs to clinics in order to receive care during this strike, the purchase only sheds further light on the indifference of CarePartners to maintaining quality service to patients in the region,” says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the 130,000 member Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The new mobile device will be distributed to more than 4,000 CarePartners staff according to the BlackBerry release.

CarePartners management may have inadvertently suggested that they were doing a less than satisfactory job at meeting patient needs prior to the strike.

Kelly Baechler, manager of organizational change at CarePartners, told the media that with the new device “we have realized greater scheduling efficiency and a drastic reduction in missed visits for our patients (emphasis added).”

“We have to wonder where the CCAC has been when the company can brag about drastically reduced missed visits without a shred of embarrassment,” says Thomas.

The union is also critical of the timing, wondering if BlackBerry was even aware that CarePartners was the subject of an ongoing labour dispute.

Regional nursing and administrative staff at CarePartners will have been on strike for three weeks this Friday. The workers legally walked off the job April 10.