May 1 Day of Solidarity with HEU contracted support workers
On May 1 – International Workers’ Day – HEU is holding a Day of Solidarity to show the union’s support for the more than 4,000 contracted housekeeping and dietary staff who are currently in bargaining.
HEU members working in the union’s contracted support service sector are employed by four multinational corporations across more than 70 sites in four health authorities –Vancouver Coastal/Providence, Fraser, Provincial Health Services, and Vancouver Island.
Talks began last spring and are continuing with Sodexo, Compass/Marquise, Aramark and Acciona.
In addition to important language improvements and critical monetary issues, Contracted Support Service Workers (CSSW) are also bargaining for job security.
“B.C.’s health authorities cut costs on the backs of some of our lowest paid members – creating hardship for thousands of workers who provide critical health care support. And even worse, health authorities change contractors without any protections for their employees,” says HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside.
“Workers are fired, with little recourse, upsetting their lives and disrupting the stability of the health care team. And if these workers are rehired by a new contractor, they start at the bottom.”
Whiteside says it takes a team to deliver safe, quality patient care. “It’s in all our interests to retain and respect the skilled, experienced cleaning and dietary staff who we rely on to keep hospitals safe and patients nourished,” she says.
On May 1, Whiteside is encouraging all HEU members to demonstrate their support for the union’s contracted support workers who are fighting for a fair and just contract from their multinational employers.
“CSSW members will be wearing their orange shoelaces,” says Whiteside. “We are encouraging all other HEU members in CSSW facilities to wear an orange sticker to show their support and solidarity.”