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Go to http://www.heu.org/2004/nr-03-02-04-poll.pdf for printer friendly version.

While B.C.’s health employers are at the bargaining table seeking massive contract concessions from health care workers, a new poll shows that nearly seven out of ten British Columbians (68.9 per cent) believe that wage and other contract rollbacks will result in lower quality care and fewer services to the public.

And according to the Mustel Group poll commissioned last month by the Hospital Employees’ Union, only 19 per cent of those polled agree with the view that health care workers should take pay cuts and other contract rollbacks so that the government can meet its fiscal targets.

The poll’s release comes as the Health Employers Association of BC is seeking contract rollbacks from 41,000 hospital and long-term care workers including wage rollbacks of up to 16 per cent, slashes to sick leave, cuts in vacation time of five to 15 days and the complete gutting of long-term disability provisions.

The poll of 509 British Columbians, conducted from February 11-16, revealed that nearly as many men (65 per cent) as women (72.6 per cent) are opposed to further pay cuts and contract rollbacks. The poll also reveals significant support for the workers among BC Liberal Party members, with 47.1 per cent opposed to rollbacks and only 38.7 per cent in favour.

“These numbers clearly show that the employer is out of touch with the public and way out of line in its position,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “Clearly, most British Columbians don’t want to see their health care system slashed to ribbons and health care workers stripped of contract provisions they reached through fair collective bargaining.”

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Here’s the question:
Health care workers are currently negotiating with government and health care employers for a new collective agreement.

The government is demanding that workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities take pay cuts and other contract rollbacks so that government can meet their fiscal targets.

Health care unions say that thousands of workers have already been laid off as a result of government policy and that more contract rollbacks will further erode the quality of care and result in fewer services to the public. Which do you agree with more?

  • Health care unions

  • Government

A complete polling table is available on request.


Mike Old, director of communications, (604) 828-6771 (cell)