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Union will offer alternative ideas to Community Care Facilities Act in Richmond meeting tonight

The Liberal government’s consultation process on Bill 16, the new Community Care Facility Act, is flawed, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE), but union president Fred Muzin plans to present HEU’s alternative views to the government’s proposals tonight at a consultation meeting set up by the minister of state for intermediate, long term and home care, Katherine Whittred. Whittred tabled the bill in the legislature last April, but the union feels its participation in

tonight’s session will be useful to generate public pressure on the government to change its plans.

“The government’s agenda is obviously set. But HEU has to take the opportunity to put itself on record as saying that in our opinion, Bill 16 only weakens what has already been shown to be inadequate provisions to protect the elderly and disabled who reside in the province’s care facilities,” says Muzin.

The union will tell the government that with Bill 16 there are no requirements for Health Authorities to meet provincial standards for staffing and quality care, nor any requirements to report on quality and consumer protection problems in facilities under their authority.

“Health care workers are on the front line and will see the consequences of Bill 16 first,” says Muzin. “It’s only right that we advocate on behalf of elderly and disabled British Columbians right now.

HEU members know that one of the major factors affecting quality of care for residents in long-term care and assisted living is an inadequate level of staffing. For this important issue to not even be on the radar screen in Bill 16 is indeed troubling, and it’s the reason I am participating in this meeting tonight.”

HEU will participate in tonight’s evening meeting which will be held in Richmond at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel. There is another session in the afternoon at the same venue, and there are sessions at two other locations: Coquitlam at the Best Western Coquitlam Inn on July 31 and in Abbotsford at the Garden Park Tower on August 1.