“For the past four and a half years, I have cared for seniors and people with disabilities. I work the morning shift as a care aide in long term care in Surrey and started doing this work to give back to my community.
As care aides, we bring tools to this job to care for people and make sure that they don’t hurt themselves. While my work can be stressful, it’s rewarding. I feel like I’ve made a difference.
I’m new to union activism and I was encouraged to get involved in my local and stepped up as the current chair while the local was getting off the ground. I wanted to support my co-workers in learning to deal with the employer.
Initially I had a workplace mindset to really listen to people in positions of authority. I was raised with by my immigrant parents and taught that was how you showed respect.
Growing up in Canada with a different view than my parents, I express myself a more and I tell people if I don’t like something.
I’m a firm believer that workers in long term care should be unionized. We need to know that we have someone there to support us, support our beliefs and to protect us.
HEU members at this site are still learning their new collective agreement, while dealing with workload issues and short staffing.
Sometimes people can be afraid of their power. I try to tell people I will support them. I want people to see that they also have power.
During the pandemic, I learned that we all need to take breaks. Learning to say NO can be the hardest thing for us.”
Balpreet, Care Aide, part of the health care team