The unions request the resignation of the managing director of Hogar Santa Rita, the largest residence in the Canary Islands

The unions that are part of the works council of Hogar Santa Rita, the largest residence for the elderly in the Canary Islands and located in Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife), have requested this Friday the resignation of its managing director, Tomás Villar, so that he can function in an “optimal way” this space.

Santa Rita, the private macro-residence built with "sky checks" that has had to be intervened by public health

Santa Rita, the private macro-residence built with “checks from heaven” that has had to be intervened by public health

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The CCOO, UGT and Intersindical Canarias unions have unanimously requested the resignation and have demanded transparency. To do this, in addition to the dismissal of Villar, they have demanded that the works council and public administrations be included in the board of trustees that directs the center, in which 500 people live and 400 employees work.

For the unions, the only way for the center to function well is for the managing director to resign, which is why they have already met with representatives of the Government of the Canary Islands, the Cabildo de Tenerife and Fecam, according to Juan Carlos Viñas, from UGT.

They have blamed the managing director for the crisis that the center experienced during the pandemic, before the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria took over the center after numerous COVID outbreaks were detected among residents and employees, and also of the scabies outbreaks and malnutrition among the people served there.

Likewise, they have defended that the staff of Santa Rita is “absolutely professional” and provides quality assistance, as the technicians of the Insular Institute of Social and Socio-Sanitary Care (IASS) have attested to during their visits, Francisco Alexis Rodríguez highlighted. , from CCOO.

Rodríguez has admitted that the workers have felt “singled out within all the media noise”, despite the fact that the employees themselves, as he has commented, have repeatedly denounced the lack of personnel to be able to serve the residents well.

They have also made public the delay in the payment of payroll, although the Hogar Santa Rita is in a solvency situation and earns 450,000 euros per month for the 374 concerted places it has, almost 6 million per year.

The CCOO representative has insisted on the inclusion of the unions in the patronage “as a guarantee of the present and future” and as an “exercise of transparency”.

COVID outbreaks: “We didn’t know what to do”

Juan Carlos Viñas, from UGT, has defended the management of the pandemic by the workers, who on December 4, 2020 notified Health of the COVID outbreak of 79 people so that it intervened as soon as possible and thus lives were saved.

It was at that moment that the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria took over management and cases of malnutrition were detected, “a long time” after the workers had already reported this situation.

He stressed that if Santa Rita has a bad reputation, it is not because of the employees, who assume an overload of work every day, and had no means to defend themselves against covid, which put everyone in danger.

“We didn’t know what to do until La Candelaria came in,” he admitted, while recounting that “what was experienced was very hard” and “tremendous” for both workers and residents.

Once La Candelaria assumed the management of the Santa Rita Home after detecting 180 positives, more staff were hired, including nutritionists, and the management was “forced” to take measures, comply with the protocols and restore the quality of care.

Francisco Baute, from Intersindical Canarias, has confirmed that “there has been a before and after” since the hospital took over management, while pointing out that they are now working for democracy to land in Santa Rita, where its management is “hermetic and obscurantist”.

“What has happened in every way is very serious, absolutely dramatic situations were experienced,” Baute asserted, while the president of the works council, Jesús Ángel Suárez, confirmed the unanimous decision by the unions regarding the resignation of the managing director.

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