Campbell agenda holds “nothing but contempt for working women,” says HEU on IWD

News release

Government’s secret health care privatization scheme designed to create low-wage ghetto

The Campbell Liberals are carrying out a massive assault on the rights, wages, pay equity gains and job security of tens of thousands of women health care workers, says B.C.’s largest union of women on International Women’s Day.

“This government’s extreme agenda of health care privatization and cutbacks will exact a steep price from women workers,” says Mary LaPlante, financial secretary for the 46,000-member Hospital Employees’ Union, which is part of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “And we learned earlier this week that the cost will be staggering — 28,000 health care workers, 85 per cent of them women, will lose their jobs.”

The Campbell Liberals are bent on rolling back the gains of a decades-long struggle for pay equity and fair wages that reflect the true value of women’s work in health care, says LaPlante, whose union represents about 40,000 women.

“Gordon Campbell broke his promise to respect our contracts and value our work,” says LaPlante. “He’s ripped up our contracts. Thousands of women will lose their jobs. Others will be hired by private contractors with 30 per cent wage cuts in a new health care low-wage ghetto.

“His health minister insults us by suggesting there’s twice as many of us working as necessary. And the premier suggests health care is an employer of last resort.

“The Campbell Liberals have shown nothing but contempt for the hard-working women on health care’s front lines,” adds LaPlante. “Thousands of good jobs for women that support families and communities will be traded for tax giveaways to the wealthy and higher profit margins for this government’s corporate supporters.”

-30- For more information, please contact: Margi Blamey, communications officer, 604-456-7094 (direct)