Se­niors and pa­tients to ben­e­fit from fair work­place leg­is­la­tion

Asian Journal - - WORLD -

Vic­to­ria: Peo­ple through­out the prov­ince, in­clud­ing pa­tients, fam­i­lies and es­pe­cially se­niors and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, will ben­e­fit as leg­is­la­tion that has been in­tro­duced takes aim at im­prov­ing work­ing con­di­tions for health and so­cial-sec­tor em­ploy­ees.

The pro­posed health sec­tor statutes re­peal act would re­scind two ex­ist­ing acts - the Health and So­cial Ser­vices De­liv­ery Improve­ment Act, com­monly known as Bill 29, 2002, and the Health Sec­tor Part­ner­ships Agree­ment Act, com­monly known as Bill 94, 2003, in their en­tirety.

“We need to cel­e­brate health-care work­ers and rec­og­nize the fun­da­men­tal value of their con­tri­bu­tions and make work­ing con­di­tions fair for ev­ery­one in the health sec­tor,” said Adrian Dix, Min­is­ter of Health. “With an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, now is the time to in­spire a new gen­er­a­tion of health-sec­tor work­ers and we need to at­tract more care aides, com­mu­nity health and hos­pi­tal work­ers through­out the prov­ince.” Com­ing into ef­fect through reg­u­la­tion in 2019, the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion will re­store suc­ces­sor­ship and com­mon em­ployer pro­tec­tions to health-sec­tor work­ers and re­move the ma­jor fi­nan­cial in­cen­tive of con­tract flip­ping for com­pa­nies to re­duce or avoid union­ized labour costs. Re­peal­ing bills 29 and 94 will im­prove job se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity by strength­en­ing the un­cer­tain em­ploy­ment con­di­tions work­ers have faced for years. In do­ing so, gov­ern­ment will be bet­ter able to re­cruit and re­tain the skilled health-care pro­fes­sion­als needed to sup­port bet­ter con­ti­nu­ity in pa­tient care. Th­ese statutes stripped af­fected em­ploy­ees of the work­place pro­tec­tions and rights avail­able to other work­ers in B.C. and paved the way for years of pri­va­ti­za­tion, con­tract­ing out and lay­offs.

“To truly make a dif­fer­ence for pa­tients and se­niors in care, we need to fo­cus on the con­ti­nu­ity of care they re­ceive,” Dix added. “This leg­is­la­tion will help to en­hance the team-based care en­vi­ron­ment peo­ple count on at ev­ery level, from hospi­tals to care homes and in the com­mu­nity.” In ad­di­tion to care aides, af­fected em­ploy­ees in­clude food ser­vices and di­etary work­ers, main­te­nance, laun­dry, se­cu­rity, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and ac­count­ing staff work­ing in health-care set­tings through­out the prov­ince.

Re­peal­ing bills 29 and 94 will im­prove job se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity by strength­en­ing the un­cer­tain em­ploy­ment con­di­tions non-clin­i­cal work­ers have faced for years. In do­ing so, gov­ern­ment will be bet­ter able to re­cruit and re­tain the skilled health-care work­ers needed to sup­port bet­ter pa­tient care. As the re­pealed leg­is­la­tion af­fects many ar­eas of the health sec­tor, gov­ern­ment will work col­lab­o­ra­tively to con­sult with unions, stake­hold­ers and for-profit, not­for-profit and non-de­nom­i­na­tional em­ploy­ers to im­ple­ment this re­peal in a way that con­tin­ues strength­en­ing the pub­licly funded health-care sys­tem.

Adrian Dix

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