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Striking HEU members received strong support from community leaders on the first day of job action. Here’s a sampling:
The Campbell government should step back from the brink, and focus on bringing much-needed calm to the situation. The 90-day cooling off period on privatization is necessary for bargaining to continue in good faith, and for our health care system to function while bargaining resumes.
— BC NDP Leader Carole James
It’s a turning point for this government. Everybody in this province knows they have made a mess of the health care system. Bullying people back to work will only make it worse.
— BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair
Nurses will provide whatever support we can to our colleagues. If there are picket lines those nurses who are not required to perform essential services will honour those picket lines and not cross them.
— BCNU president Debra McPherson
We want our seniors, or any patient in a hospital, to have good qualified help?[Everyone has] a right to have work, but I don’t think they should be replacing people who are qualified.
— Rudy Lawrence, president of the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC
For this government, it’s clear that controlling cost is their No. 1 agenda and they’re prepared to bully the unions and other health-care professionals. The government in the long term is making a big mistake. We have to recognize the skills and training various health-care professionals have and if we’re not prepared to treat them fairly we’ll deserve the system we end up getting.
— Jack Burak, president-elect of the BC Medical Association