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HEU members have proven to be articulate voices when it comes to speaking out on important bargaining issues. For the past several weeks, members throughout the province have either been quoted in a story or had letters to the editor published in their local newspaper. Here’s a small sampling:
In the Wednesday, April 7 edition of the North Shore News,
two laid-off staff from Cedarview Lodge expressed disgust at having being asked to donate to the new assisted-living department at Cedarview. Care aide Jackie Swanson said:
Asking for money off our paycheques to support this restructuring after so many of us have lost our jobs proves the government is heartless. We feel the government has just added insult to injury by asking us to donate money. They need to dig deeper into their own pockets and leave ours alone.
In the Monday, April 5 edition of The Daily News
(Nanaimo), Shawn Tracy, a longtime housekeeper at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, was quoted lambasting the Vancouver Island Health Authority at its bi-monthly meeting for deciding to fire 1,100 unionized workers and hire a private firm to take over their jobs:
It is a decision that could have been avoided altogether if there had been a real willingness on VIHA’s part to cooperate with health care workers and find solutions that work for everyone... What you have done to us is shameful. What you are about to do to the workers who will replace us is equally disgusting. And what you’re doing to our public health care system is unforgivable.
In the Saturday, April 3 edition of the Courier-Islander
(Campbell River), resident care aide Wendy Kelson said in a letter:
The stress level is phenomenal even though we try to think positive as we hang on to a thread of hope that our jobs are safe. How fortunate our employer is to have such a professional group of people working for them that daily put on a brave and happy face in the presence of the residents so as not to worry them?.
In the Wednesday, March 31 edition of Burnaby Now
, Burnaby Hospital food service and retail worker Trudy Racine said in a letter:
Our motto at Burnaby Hospital is `the Human Touch.’ As far as I can see, it was lost after the Simon Fraser Health Region took over, and is now the Fraser Health Authority. When we had a president of Burnaby Hospital, it was more personalized?.The Fraser Health Authority is a cold umbrella to be under.
In the Wednesday, March 10 edition of the Harbour City Star
, Barbara James, a food service worker at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, said in a letter:
If you pay someone $9 an hour you will get $9 an hour worth of work. Privatization means profit, hence you can expect the meals and service to be of inferior quality in order for the huge US and UK conglomerates to further line their pockets.