HEU members to health employers: We’re worth every penny

Bargaining bulletin

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Health employers and the BC Liberal government think that frontline health care workers are overpaid. Our members beg to differ. As HEU prepared for a strike vote, provincial office was deluged with angry responses to the employers’ 100 pages of concessions. Here’s a sample:

“We are so short-staffed that when I get off work in the morning I pray I haven’t forgotten something that will kill someone. I run all night and you say I am overpaid!”       —HEU member, Nanaimo

“I’ve worked at VGH for 29 and a half years and was looking forward to staying until my retirement?and now, instead of thanks for my long and faithful service my job is being contracted out! I’m too young to retire and too poor to quit. The daily stress of waiting to hear about my/our jobs and worrying about money, medical, dental and being left without a job and benefits is devastating and consuming my joy for life.”       —HEU member, Vancouver

“Surgeries are cancelled because contracted housekeeping staff do not clean the operating room adequately.”      —HEU member, New Westminster

“On LTD, caused by a work injury, I no longer can afford to operate a car, pay preschool fees, or have my daughter in swimming lessons. ... Why are you doing this?”       —HEU member, Richmond

“I chose the health care field and went to BCIT (two-year programme) in order to perform my job and have worked steady since 1980. ?I do not understand the drastic cuts in benefits. I already make half the wages and now am expected to pay double the costs? Does this make sense? Is it better that I go on E.I. or welfare? How will this benefit the economy?”       —HEU member, Burnaby

Stay tuned for more comments from front-line health care workers about what it’s like working in B.C.’s post-Bill 29 health care environment.