Bill 29 anniversary marked by march, Plaza of Nations rally Tuesday morning

News release

Health care workers will mark the first anniversary of legislation that ripped up their collective agreements with a rally at the Plaza of Nations Tuesday morning in downtown Vancouver. They’ll march to the rally site from Willow Park (12th and Willow near Vancouver General Hospital) and Nelson Park (Comox and Thurlow near St. Paul’s Hospital) starting at 9:30 a.m.

It’s one of a number of events that will be held around the province to mark the Campbell government’s passage of Bill 29, the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, on January 28, 2002.

The contract-breaking legislation made wholesale changes to health care collective agreements paving the way for hospital closures, service cuts and privatization.

Using Bill 29 provisions, health authorities have targeted more than 5,000 skilled and experienced health care workers for pink slips by June. The legislation was also used to award a lucrative hospital laundry contract in the Fraser Valley to a U.S.-controlled corporation that was caught washing soiled birthing linens in household washing machines in a Chilliwack seniors’ facility. HEU and other unions are making a legal challenge to the legislation on the grounds that it violates the Canadian Charter of Rights. The B.C. Supreme Court will hear the matter in April.

What: Health care workers mark one year of Bill 29 with march and rally Who: Chris Allnutt, HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy, Canadian Union of Public Employees’ national president Other community and union leaders When: Tuesday, January 28 Where: March starting at 9:30 a.m. from Willow Park (12th&Willow) and Nelson Park (Comox & Thurlow) Rally starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Plaza of Nations 750 Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver

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Contact: Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)