B.C. Liberals take aim at pay equity award

Union bosses given huge whack of taxpayers' money, says Liberal health critic Opposition health critic Colin Hansen (MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena) targeted HEU's recent pay equity victory during debate on a government supply bill in the B.C. legislature March 29. In an exchange with Finance Minister Paul Ramsey, Hansen questioned the recent comparability/ pay equity award that narrows the pay equity gap for tens of thousands of health care workers. "(The government) has basically given to the union bosses in the HEU, who I know are very good friends of this government, a huge whack of taxpayers' money, and this is not what was needed to meet what is necessary out of pay equity," said Hansen. The Vancouver-Quilchena MLA went on to pin the problems facing health care on the provision of funds for pay equity. "It is an example of why it is that every year we see significant increases in the budget of the health ministry of this province, yet every year we see health care in the province deteriorate," stated Hansen. "We start to realize where those dollars are going, and itís not going to patient care, as evidenced by this." "I think the opposition should take some time to educate themselves on the decades long battle for pay equity in health care before they make such sweeping statements," says Allnutt. "To do otherwise is an insult to the tens of thousands of women and men who will receive a measure of justice because of this award." "I think most British Columbian's appreciate the value of the health care services delivered by our members and would want to see them treated fairly," added Allnutt. "It's shameful for the opposition to target the lowest paid workers in the acute and continuing care sector for the larger problems facing health care."