Seniors, disabilities groups to back HEU bargaining proposal for more staff in long-term care

News release

Key endorsements to come Tuesday at special luncheon event to press for solutions to dangerous staffing situation

Representatives from seniors and people with disabilities advocacy groups will lend their support for Hospital Employees’ Union’s bargaining proposal for increased staffing levels in long-term care at a special event in Vancouver tomorrow.

Time:  12:15 p.m. Date:  Tuesday, February 20 Place: Ballroom, Plaza 500           &nbsp500 West 12 Avenue

The endorsations come on the heels of a research report released by HEU which shows that current staffing levels in B.C.’s long-term care facilities don’t come close to meeting the basic daily care needs of residents, and in some cases fall below levels required to avoid serious harm. A copy of the report is available from HEU’s website, .

Union spokesperson Chris Allnutt says HEU has made staffing levels a top-priority issue in contract negotiations with health employers that have been ongoing since January. “So the support from the care advocacy groups is a real boost for our efforts to establish appropriate staffing levels. It will help focus attention on the scope of the problem and realistic solutions to solve it.”

With the existing agreement for 60,000 health care workers set to expire March 31, Allnutt says negotiations are getting close to a crucial stage.

The second part of the luncheon event will feature guest speaker Louise Ryan, assistant ombudsperson for long-term care for Washington State. Ryan will discuss the strong, multi-facetted advocacy role that the U.S. government-mandated Office of the Ombudsperson plays in improving the care provided in the state’s nursing homes, which are run primarily by for-profit corporations.