B.C.’s largest health care union is calling for a more even-handed approach to health care issues and health care workers in the wake of the provincial election.
Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says health care concerns dominated the election campaign across B.C. and that Tuesday’s results should signal to politicians that voters want a more balanced approach to health care policies.
“There’s a lot of work to do to fix health care and front-line health care workers know what’s working and what’s not,” says Darcy.
“But the last four years have left HEU members feeling devalued and unrecognized for their diverse and critical roles in health care.
“I’m hopeful that Premier Campbell and his party will treat their renewed mandate as an opportunity to forge a more cooperative and constructive relationship with our union and to place a higher value on our members’ contributions to health care,” says Darcy.
“It’s a discussion we hope to have in the near future.”
Darcy says that union members are also looking forward to educating MLAs from both parties about the nature of their work and the challenges they face delivering care.
HEU’s 42,000 members work in B.C. hospitals, long-term care facilities and in the community delivering health care and community social services.
They provide direct care and include licensed practical nurses, care aides, orderlies and activity aides. HEU members also work as medical records and nursing unit coordinators; trades; OR and ICU cleaners; lab, x-ray and pharmacy assistants; medical technologists; information systems specialists; and dietary and laundry workers.