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.

BC legislatureSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GoFundMe campaign started for young Kelowna girl in need of service dog

Alena suffered from an in utero MCA stroke, that affected most of the right side of her brain

Summerhill Winery proposes college for sustainable food production

The proposed Culinary College for Humanity will help to develop a sustainable food culture

Kelowna woman reported missing

Kiana Haner Wilk’s family has not been able to contact her since Tuesday evening

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue helps off-roaders stuck on KVR trail

The group called for help around 9 p.m. last night

Kelowna career fair offers new opportunities

Don’t miss the upcoming Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair in Kelowna, March 12.

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Goose cull proposed in Vernon

Three options to manage bird populations in popular parks pitched to councillors

COLUMN: Acknowledging the freedom to read

We provide full access to material that some might find objectionable

Shuswap protest blockade temporarily lifted following negotiation with CP Rail

Onus placed on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respond

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

LETTER: Forestry practices will affect property values

Logging these water purifying ecosystems affects B.C. communities

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

Most Read