Health unions propose solution to staffing crisis, seek response on redress as Bill 29 talks enter second month

The multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) ended its first month of Bill 29 talks with government and health employers by repeating its call for redress for workers whose charter rights were violated by sections of the 2002 legislation.

The FBA also proposed ways for government to implement the June 8 Supreme Court judgment in a manner that would result in improved health care for the public by addressing critical staffing shortages.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy, spokesperson for the FBA, says government cannot ignore measures that would address growing recruitment and retention problems.

“A shortage of skilled, experienced staff is by far the most serious threat to the long-term sustainability of our health care in B.C.,” says Darcy.

“And central to our proposals is the development of human resource strategy that utilizes previously laid-off workers as well as re-deploying workers affected by changes in the health care system in the future.”

Darcy also says that the unions are looking for a serious response from government on the issue of redress when talks resume later this week.

The FBA met with government and health employers for eight days in October.