Update: On August 30, 2021, the provincial government of B.C. announced they will reverse 20 years of privatization by bringing back in-house hospital cleaners & dietary workers.
This move will improve wages and working conditions for more than 4000 workers, most of them women and many of them racialized. And it will help to address the sector’s retention and recruitment issues.
Most importantly, ensuring public delivery of health care services is critical to safe, quality health care, which benefits all British Columbians.
Thank you for supporting Make It Public. Supporters sent nearly 8000 letters to the government to let them know how important the issue of reuniting the health care team is to improving health care outcomes. Public support was essential to righting this historical wrong.
HEU’s news release:
B.C. Government news release:
In 2002, the BC Liberal government passed a law that tore up key provisions in health care collective agreements and resulted in thousands of job losses for health care workers.
Housekeeping, dietary and other support jobs were contracted out to major global corporations. Fired workers were invited to reapply for their jobs at half the wages and with few benefits and no pension. The workers impacted were overwhelmingly women and highly racialized.
Hospital housekeepers and dietary workers in many B.C. hospitals and extended care homes earn less during the COVID-19 pandemic than they did during the SARS epidemic 16 years ago. That’s a direct result of privatization.
Bringing these workers back in-house will make health care a workplace where people want to work and stay, and our system will be better able to deal with the sector’s retention and recruitment issues while ensuring safe, stable care for patients. And, reuniting the health care team means the failed privatization policies of the past don’t survive this pandemic.