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Government’s `vicious attack’ on health care workers can’t be tolerated, union says
More than 500 delegates at this week’s annual convention of CUPE-BC voted unanimously yesterday for an emergency resolution that condemns health employers and the BC Liberal government while reaffirming the union’s support for HEU in its fight for fairness and protection of health care.
The resolution, which received a strong endorsement from CUPE-BC president Barry O’Neill, also calls for delegates to commit to mobilizing members in their locals for such actions as may be necessary to assist HEU.
“The CUPE Health Services Division — Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) has been under an unprecedented attack by the provincial government and its agent the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) for the past three years,” the resolution begins.
With nearly 7,000 HEU/CUPE members losing their jobs to privatization and contracting out, “and thousands of more members’ jobs currently on the chopping block”, HEABC deserves condemnation for continually refusing to consider union proposals on job security in the current round of contract negotiations.
The resolution to condemn HEABC and the provincial government follows an 89 per cent strike vote by HEU/CUPE members and HEABC’s intransigent refusal “to put contracting out on hold or withdraw any of their concession demands during mediation that they requested.”
HEU president Fred Muzin attended the debate and was asked to take the message of solidarity back to HEU members.
“The overwhelming support from delegates and Brother O’Neill was very heartening and sends a clear message to health employers and the government — negotiate an agreement that protects decent jobs and public health care.”