#15Staffing levels: We're run off our feet!
Feb. 21 to focus on workload pressures, solutions
HEU members will be wearing colourful stickers on the job Feb. 21 to drive home the impact that low staffing levels have on their ability to provide quality care for British Columbians. Across the province, they’ll also be highlighting progressive solutions that HEU is pressing for at the bargaining table to deal with the workload pressures faced by health care workers and to improve care standards for people right across the province.
The event is the first province-wide action in the union’s plan to mobilize members at the local level and advance the important process of supporting our contract demands by pressuring employers in the workplace. Our goal is to negotiate two key measures at the bargaining table to alleviate the serious problem, namely:
- clearly defined staffing ratios—particularly in long-term care—to keep health care safe for health care workers and our patients, residents and clients;
- strong language on replacing staff during absences and limits on workload that results from those absences.
Low staffing levels are a chronic problem at all B.C. health care facilities, and are clearly part of the cause of the skyrocketing rates of on-the-job injuries in our workplaces. According to HEU membership polling results, three out of four members say workload pressures are increasing.
Low staffing levels also impact HEU members’ lives outside of work, as two-thirds of union members say that workload pressures have an adverse effect on their personal lives.