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The Hospital Employees’ Union has donated $150,000 to six hospital foundations in lieu of paying that amount in a fine imposed after the B.C. Supreme Court found the union guilty of civil contempt of a court-filed back-to-work order.
The finding stems from the union’s defiance of Bill 37 — legislation passed by the provincial government in April that imposed a contract on 43,000 striking health care workers.
Justice Robert Bauman imposed a $150,000 fine against the union for its actions but suspended the fine for 30 days and left the union the option of donating an equivalent sum among six hospital foundations designated in his June 11 reasons for judgment.
The union has made six donations of $25,000 each to the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation; Kelowna General Hospital Foundation; the Greater Victoria Hospital Foundation; the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation; the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation; and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
“There are many urgent needs facing health care in this province,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.
“I’m confident that these six hospital foundations will put our members’ donation to good use improving access to quality public health care for British Columbians.”
The union has requested that, where possible, the funds to be used to support programs that would assist in the diagnosis of breast and prostate cancer. The dispersal of the funds, however, is entirely at the discretion of the six hospital foundations.
Contact: Mike Old, communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)