Three-quarters of British Columbians support union efforts to bargain increased long-term care staffing - poll

In addition to backing from seniors and disability advocacy groups, the public is also supportive of efforts by the Hospital Employees’ Union and other health care unions to negotiate minimum staffing levels for 25,000 seniors and people with disabilities who are cared for in B.C.’s long-term care facilities.

HEU surveyed public attitudes on the long-term care staffing question in a Feb. 5 to 9 poll carried out by the Vancouver firm of McIntyre and Mustel. The findings indicate that just shy of three out of every four British Columbians support the union’s bargaining initiative to improve the quality of care for seniors through increased staffing levels. Those who disagreed with the union’s approach numbered only 16 per cent. About 10 per cent of respondents were undecided.

The telephone poll of 502 British Columbians is considered accurate within 4.4 per cent 19 times out of 20.

The polling question: Health care workers say that the number of caregivers in B.C. long-term care facilities falls below the minimum levels required to ensure that seniors are cared for safely and their daily needs are met. Assuming that additional funding will be required, do you agree or disagree with their union negotiating minimum staffing levels in long-term care facilities? Is that strongly or somewhat?

Total Agree  74.1 per cent

  • strongly agree — 42.4 per cent
  • somewhat agree — 31.7 per cent


  • Total Disagree  15.6 per cent

  • somewhat disagree — 7.4 per cent
  • strongly disagree — 8.2 per cent


  • Don’t Know/Refused  10.3 per cent