Update: Program revamp leads to staffing shakeup at Royal Ottawa

A team of addiction counsellors working in the inpatient substance use and concurrent disorders program at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre has received layoff notices, according to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The labour group says the move affects five full-time and two part-time unionized employees, as well as seven casual staff members.

A spokesperson for the Royal Ottawa says the move is part of a program revamp that will provide specialized services to those individuals who have severe and complex concurrent disorders, such as substance abuse and mental illness.

Nicole Loreto, the Royal’s vice-president of communications, said the health care facility will be hiring several psychologists, social workers and nurses to support the shift and that the employees whose positions are being eliminated may find other positions at the organization.

“We believe that affected employees could be accommodated in other programs of The Royal, or leave through early retirement once the union-bumping process is finalized.”

The number of patient treatment beds will be unaffected, she added.