HEU Clerical Team Appreciation Day puts behind-the-scenes workers in the spotlight

They are often behind the scenes performing “invisible” jobs, but nearly 10,000 members of HEU’s clerical team provide a key role in the delivery of quality health care to British Columbians each and every day.

Fredrica imageThat’s why today – Clerical Team Appreciation Day – locals across the province are celebrating the vital contribution clerical workers make to their health care team.

The clerical team represents about 22 per cent of the union’s membership and work in broad-ranging jobs in nearly 90 different classifications, providing services in acute care hospitals, satellite offices, and long-term care homes throughout B.C. 

Balancing the medical side with the business side of health care, HEU clerical jobs include nursing unit assistants (unit clerks), medical transcriptionists, payroll supervisors, purchasing assistants; bed booking, admitting, diagnostic imaging and O.R. booking clerks, and staff schedulers, among many others.

They are responsible for patient billing, processing physicians’ orders for patient treatment plans, coordinating and booking patient tests and procedures, scheduling O.R. slates and health care staff, accurately maintaining patient records, operating the facility switchboard, keeping stats that are critical to day-to-day operations such as budgeting and purchasing, delivering mail and correspondence to each department, ensuring staff paycheques are accurate, screening and admitting patients to appropriate nursing units and beds, and red-flagging crucial test results. 

“Our clerical family has endured tremendous disruption through consolidation over the past few years,” says HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson, “particularly in the finance, purchasing, IT and health records departments. And then more recently, Lower Mainland medical transcription services are being contracted out. But we all know that the BC Liberals’ privatization agenda doesn’t save money; it jeopardizes quality patient care. We’re very proud of our clerical team for their dedication and professionalism in the face of such uncertainty.” 

The union’s clerical subcommittee encourages locals to email photos and stories about how they celebrated Clerical Team Appreciation Day to <clericalworkers@heu.org>.

Be sure to check out their latest issue of PaperWork on the HEU website and sign up for the clerical action network by emailing the subcommittee.