RJH housekeepers at Patient Care Centre to be included in repatriation

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The return of contracted-out housekeeping services at Royal Jubilee Hospital to the health authority will now include those working at the Patient Care Centre (PCC) at Royal Jubilee Hospital, says the Hospital Employees’ Union.

In August, the province’s health minister, Adrian Dix, announced that more than 4,000 housekeeping and dietary staff employed by private companies under 21 contracts with health authorities would be “repatriated” to those health authorities.

But about 60 housekeeping staff at the PCC were not initially included because they are employed by Acciona as part of the private consortium that built the PCC under a public-private partnership (P3).

About 120 Acciona housekeeping staff working in the other buildings at RJH are tentatively scheduled to be transferred to the health authority early next summer.

Last week, the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) gave notice to Acciona that the PCC housekeeping staff will also be transferred back to health authority employment at the same time as other Acciona employees.

HEU secretary-business manager Meena Brisard says this is a positive move that recognizes that all housekeeping staff working at the hospital must be reunited with the rest of the health care team under the Facilities Collective Agreement.

“Repatriating all RJH housekeeping staff together means more effective coordination of services, less turnover of staff and more security for workers,” says Brisard.

There are housekeeping and dietary staff at a number of P3 hospitals and buildings in the Provincial Health Services and Fraser Health Authorities that were also not included in the initial list of contracts that will be repatriated over the next year.

“We are hopeful that other health authorities will follow the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s lead and reunite all contracted out staff with the health care team.”

HEU continues to work collaboratively with VIHA to ensure a smooth transfer of privatized workers back into the health authority.

Members employed by Acciona will have an opportunity to learn more and ask questions at an info session hosted by the union on Tuesday, December 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Learning Centre (S150) at Royal Jubilee Hospital.