British Columbia to phase out private housekeeping and food service contracts in acute care
Workers employed by private contractors who provide housekeeping and catering services at acute care facilities in British Columbia will have their jobs referred to provincial health authorities.
The provincial government says it will notify beginning this fall, under 21 commercial contracts, of its intention to begin returning workers’ employment to health authorities.
He says the phased approach to his decision will affect around 4,000 workers.
The province says it is working with the Hospital Employees Union, health authorities and contractors on its plan.
Prime Minister John Horgan said in a statement that the decision to contract out work nearly 20 years ago led to lower wages and less job security, especially for women.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the move would benefit workers and make recruitment easier.
“It treats those who do the essential and vital work of keeping our hospitals and facilities clean and providing nutrition for our patients with fairness and dignity,” he said in a press release.
‘Today is a big day’
Mike Old, spokesperson for the British Columbia Hospital Employees Union, said the changes will be “life changing” for workers in these areas.
“Twenty years ago…these workers saw their wages cut in half and lost their pensions, their retirement security and it’s been an uphill battle ever since,” Old told host Gloria Macarenko on CBC. On the coast.
“Today is a big day.”
Old says it’s been difficult over the past 15 to 20 years to maintain a stable workforce because of working conditions and compensation.
“We really need to invest in these frontline public services to make sure our communities get the services they need, that they are of high quality, and that they include good, decent jobs that support families and communities” , did he declare.
Horgan says the ruling also puts workers who have been employed by private companies on an equal footing with public health care workers.
“Nearly 20 years later, we are still living with the aftermath of those choices, with workers being paid less to do the same job as their colleagues in the public system,” he said. “It’s time to put an end to it.”