More action needed to restore seniors’ care, address morale problem in health care

News release

Today’s BC budget update takes an important first step towards restoring and improving seniors’ care, but the 42,000-member Hospital Employees’ Union says more must be done in next year’s budget to make up for cuts made in the government’s first term.

“Reinstating the income supplement and improving rent subsidies for low income seniors is a positive move but much more will need to be done to reverse the impact of other cuts like the 2,500 long-term care beds lost over the last four years,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

But Darcy says it’s less clear what Tuesday’s budget update means for union members who deliver health care to British Columbians.

Last year, government imposed a wage cut of 15 per cent on about 40,000 HEU members including health technologists, licensed practical nurses, systems analysts, unit coordinators, trades workers and others.

“This government will have to take concrete steps to address plummeting staff morale and a looming retention crisis on health care’s front-lines,” says Darcy.

“Quality health care can’t be sustained under these conditions. What’s needed now is a genuine commitment from government that they will value the contribution of our members in their workplaces and at the bargaining table.”