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

Man, 31, charged in Cache Creek fatal shooting

Corey Richard Harkness appeared on one count of murder in provincial court in Kamloops

One man dead after shooting in Cache Creek

A gofundme page has been set up to fund a Celebration of Life for Brock Ledoux

Historic Nicola Valley church destroyed by fire

Murray United Church one of four Merritt-area churches touched by fire on same night

South Cariboo Minor Soccer gears up for new season

Registration has increased steadily every year since 2014, with the league nearly doubling in size

Local News Briefs: Ashcroft features in new movie

Plus workshops, a concert, a hockey fundraiser, grants, a health care survey, and much more

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read