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Union hopeful that Campbell’s comments on radio talk show lead to urgently needed talks

The Premier’s commitment on CKNW radio this morning that new federal health funding will be added on top of B.C.’s health care budget represents a positive commitment to front-line health services, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

The union is also cautiously optimistic about the premier’s response to a question from talk show host Bill Good about the government’s willingness to enter into discussions with HEU about restructuring in health care.

“The premier said he’d be glad to work with unions like ours to add value to critical public services like health care,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“That’s why we’ll be contacting the premier’s office this afternoon to see if we can break this impasse and get those discussions going.

“British Columbians face the prospect of losing the skills and experience of thousands of front-line health care workers in the next few months,” adds Allnutt. “Privatization is already turning back the clock on women’s wages to levels not seen since the late 1960s.

“We urgently need to engage in a dialogue with health employers and government to prevent the hemorrhaging of skilled health workers and quality jobs for women from our health care system.”