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HEU calls on health authority to implement ‘code of conduct’ to prevent further abuses of workers’ rights by long-term care operators

The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) is urging the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to implement a code of conduct for long-term care facilities it funds after the B.C. Labour Relations Board ruled that Point Grey Private Hospital had engaged in unfair labour practices in its dealing with unionized care aides.

In a ruling handed down Monday, the B.C. Labour Relations Board found the facility’s operator and part owner Maureen McIntosh violated the labour code by suggesting to employees that they decertify or change to a ‘Christian’ union in order to maintain their wages and benefits.

Specifically, the Board ruled that McIntosh interfered in the administration of a trade union and that her actions were an attempt to compel or induce workers from remaining members of a trade union.

HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic says government legislation tearing up union contracts is an open invitation to employers to engage in similar pressure tactics and called on the VCHA to implement a code of conduct for all long-term care facilities it funds to prevent such abuses.

“The health authority needs to send a clear signal to the facilities it funds that abusing workers’ rights won’t be tolerated in the programs that it funds,” says Bosancic.

McIntosh contracted out the work of housekeeping, laundry and food services workers at Point Grey Private Hospital last year. Lay off notices to care aides at the facility were rescinded last fall.

Last year, workers at two other facilities administered or partially owned by McIntosh decertified. And care aides at the Lakeshore Care Centre in Coquitlam - also partly owned by McIntosh - have been given notice of lay off effective July 28. Housekeeping, laundry and dietary staff at Lakeshore lost their jobs last year.


Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)