Health Minister Adrian Dix and Mental Health Minister Judy Darcy wait to go into the B.C. legislature to introduce bill repealing measures that allow seniors care home operators to get out of union contracts. Darcy headed the Hospital Employees’ Union during a long court battle with the B.C. government. (Twitter)

B.C. union celebrates end of senior care ’contract flipping’

Adrian Dix says stability is key to increasing care standards

The Hospital Employees’ Union is cheering the B.C. government’s move to repeal legislation that took away union successor rights and allowed care home operators to get out of negotiated employment contracts.

Health Minister Adrian Dix introduced legislation Thursday that repeals legislation from 2002 and 2008 exempting care home employer and subcontractors under the B.C. Labour Relations Code, allowing them to avoid successor rights and common employer declarations when operation of a care home shifts from one contractor to another.

The legislation led to thousands of care home employees being laid off and then offered their jobs back with reduced wages and benefits, Dix said.

“Fragmentation of health care delivery, the disruption of care relationships, and more precarious and lower-paid work is the direct result of these mean-spirited laws,” said Jennifer Whiteside, secretary-business manager of the HEU.

Dix said Thursday the new provisions will not be implemented immediately, to allow the operators to adjust. Stability is urgently needed to attract more care aides and bring facilities up to the province’s standard of more than three hours per day of personal care per patient, he said.

RELATED: Bathing, meal times need work, residential care survey finds

Care aides provide “the most important personal care in the life of a senior,” and there are 29,000 currently in government and contracted care facilities, Dix said. With a wave of retirements among workers and a rising tide of elderly baby boomers in B.C., a labour shortage is already being seen in community care, hospitals and seniors homes.

After completing a 2017 survey of care home residents and family members, B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie summed up the message for government regarding seniors who don’t get the provincial standard of care visits, and get only one bath a week: “more staff, more freedom and more conversation.”

In its submission to the B.C. legislature finance committee in October, the B.C. Care Providers Association called for an additional $130 million to be spent to improve care, including community care visits that allow seniors to stay in their homes.

Dix said additional money is going to care homes, with more directed at private care facilities that have used the contract flipping and have fallen farthest behind in meeting provincial standards.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

43 Okanagan College students enter studies with help of government

The B.C. Government’s Provincial Tuition Waiver Program allows young students who were in care access education

12-year-old hit at Glenmore intersection

The scene has been cleared

Day of mourning scheduled for West Kelowna firefighter

The public is invited for a day of remembrance of Captain Troy Russell, who died in 2018.

Rockets extend assistant coach

Kris Mallette was given a two-year extension

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

Most Read