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In a series of ongoing actions protesting the Campbell government’s health care cuts and privatization agenda, members of the Hospital Employees’ Union and their supporters will rally Wednesday, January 22, in Vancouver and Victoria. ’Days of Defiance’ actions will continue at other locations Thursday and Friday.
  • Vancouver General Hospital One Hour for Justice, 6:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 4:30.pm, on 12th Avenue
  • Children’s and Women’s Hospital, One Hour for Justice, 6:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Gorge Road Hospital in Victoria, Rally to Save Gorge Road, 3:00 p.m.

In Vancouver, workers are holding a One Hour for Justice information line to protest Vancouver General Hospital and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s refusal to back down on the contracting out of thousands of hospital jobs - despite increasing evidence that the health and safety of patients and workers will be jeopardized and money will not be saved. Workers will join the line for one half hour before and after their shifts.

This protest follows on the heels of failed attempts to sway VGH management and the health authority that privatizing jobs will cost money and in some cases, lives. Following a January 10 meeting where VGH management made it clear their contracting-out agenda would not be altered, HEU members attempted to take their case to the health authority on January 15, where they were met with a locked elevator and closed doors.

In Victoria, workers and residents at Gorge Road Hospital will hold their third sidewalk rally in less than a week at 3 pm on Wednesday to stop the hospital’s closure - a decision organizers say will unnecessarily disrupt the lives of hundreds of people. It is expected 476 health care workers will receive lay off notices in about three weeks’ time.

Pierre Levesque, a hospital cook and vice-chair of the Gorge Local, condemned the closure saying the region was short more than 300 long-term care beds prior to the decision to close Gorge Road. “Now they’re eliminating 300 more beds - where exactly are these residents going to go? For most, assisted living will not be appropriate for their special health needs.”

And workers at Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Vancouver will hold mount an information line outside the facility in response to Monday’s news that the Provincial Health Services Authority has taken the next step towards privatization by issuing a Request for Proposals for a range of housekeeping and food services.

The RFP affects more than 500 workers at C&W, the B.C. Cancer Agency and Sunnyhill Health Centre for Children.