Contracted support services

Under the BC Liberals, thousands of HEU members worked in contracted support services earning substandard wages and benefits. Those jobs included housekeeping, dietary, laundry, clerical, and retail work in hospitals, long-term care, assisted and independent living facilities.

Contracted support services workers (CSSWs) were employed by private contractors who had lucrative and long-term service agreements with B.C. health authorities. Before they were contracted out, these workers were directly employed by health authorities, and were part of the facilities subsector collective agreement.

In the early 2000s, when health authorities outsourced these jobs to multinational companies like Sodexo, Compass, Acciona and Aramark, many of these members had to rejoin HEU and negotiate new collective agreements.

But in 2019, the BC NDP government reversed the anti-labour laws - enacted by the BC Liberals (now BC United) - that allowed contracting out of hospital support services.

And in 2021, the provincial NDP government announced that housekeeping and food services would be phased back into hospitals, bringing thousands of CSSWs into the health authorities and the facilities contract.

To date, more than 4,000 HEU members have been brought back in-house, resulting in better wages, benefits and working conditions.

Returning privatized workers in-house

The process of reuniting the health care team has started.

CSSW Bargaining

Bargaining for CSSW members is underway.