HEU members are 'toilet cleaners,' say Libs

News release

Union asks B.C. Liberal leader to apologize for caucus member’s "demeaning and insulting" comment

The Hospital Employees’ Union is asking B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Campbell to apologize to housekeeping staff in Kamloops and across the province after one of his caucus members referred to them as “toilet cleaners.”

Kamloops-Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger made the reference to a Kamloops TV reporter while explaining his opposition to a pay equity settlement recently paid to 40,000 front-line health care workers including to about 1,000 workers in the Thompson Health Region.

Krueger erroneously suggested that pay equity meant that “a toilet cleaner is earning the same as a nurse.”

“Mr. Krueger’s reference to housekeeping and cleaning staff as “toilet cleaners” marginalizes and demeans the multi-faceted role these hard-working women and men play in B.C.’s health care facilities,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“I accept that Mr. Krueger may not support pay equity,” added Allnutt. “But I’m appalled that he would belittle one group of health care workers in order to score a cheap political shot.”

Allnutt wrote Campbell today asking that an apology be offered to HEU members who deliver housekeeping and cleaning services in B.C.’s public health care system.

“Mr. Campbell needs to make it clear to his caucus and to working people that these kind of gutter politics have no place in his party,” says Allnutt.

Approximately 3,000 of HEU’s 46,000 members provide housekeeping and cleaning services in B.C. health care facilities on a full - or part-time basis. As a result of the recent pay equity settlement, full-time workers in these jobs received pay rate adjustments of $50 a month.