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Sunday’s strike deadline came and went without a word from the BC government so 43,000 health care workers are now on strike. The action started Sunday, Apr. 26 at noon with an overtime ban and picket lines went up at facilities across the province later in the afternoon. * “Our fight for justice is being waged against this government’s privatization agenda and health employers’ continued refusal to stop contracting out our public health care services,” says HEU secretary- business manager Chris Allnutt. “Today we stand united and strong to protect decent jobs and public health care.” Talks are stalled over the employer’s (the Health Employers Association of B.C) demand for $900 million in wage and benefit concessions with no employment security and no offer to put contracting out on hold even during bargaining. “From doctors to nurses to paramedical professionals, government hasn’t managed to negotiate a single agreement in the hospital and long-term care sector and has resorted to legislation in every case,” says Allnutt. “Legislation won’t solve this dispute – it’s why we’ve reached this point. What’s needed now is a commitment by government to respect legally negotiated contracts and the collective bargaining process. “We have been clear with health employers about what is necessary for productive talks to take place,” says Allnutt. “Put privatization on hold while we work towards a contract settlement.”