Bill 37 a shocking betrayal of health care workers

News release

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Legislation introduced today by the Gordon Campbell government that would impose massive wage rollbacks on 43,000 hospital and long-term care staff while allowing for the continued privatization of health services is a shocking betrayal of workers, say health unions.

“The Campbell Liberals continue to demonstrate nothing but disdain for the women and men working on health care’s front lines,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“Once again, this premier and his government have callously rewritten the law to suit their privatization agenda in health care and violated the legal rights of tens of thousands of workers in the process.

Bill 37 is nothing short of a stinging indictment of this government’s failure to deal honestly, openly and cooperatively with those who deliver health care to British Columbians,” adds Allnutt who also speaks for the multi-union bargaining association.

Since their election in 2001, the government has used legislation to impose agreements on doctors, nurses and paramedical professionals and to rip up the last collective agreement negotiated by this group of health care workers.

But Bill 37 is the first time the Campbell Liberals have imposed wage and benefit cuts on a group of workers through legislation.

“This is a dangerous piece of legislation which puts the rights of all workers at risk and will further deepen the chaos this government has inflicted on health care over the last three years,” says Allnutt.

HEU represents 40,000 workers affected by the contract talks. Ten other unions in the bargaining association including the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers represent the remaining 3,000 workers.

Workers covered by the contract talks include hundreds of job classifications including LPNs and care aides, lab assistants, x-ray and ECG technicians, biomedical engineers, trades, cleaners, dietary workers and clerical staff like medical transcriptionists, OR booking clerks and unit coordinators.

-30- Contact: Mike Old, communications director (cell) 604-828-6771

Click here to read HEABC's proposal which is referenced in Bill 37.