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Health employers need to do better for your health and safety - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Health employers returned to the facilities bargaining table this week with disappointing responses to our proposals addressing the growing staffing crisis and rising levels of stress on frontline health care workers.

The Facilities Bargaining Association had proposed stronger measures to resolve workload concerns, including those arising from unfilled vacancies and inadequate baseline staffing levels.

Recognizing that high workloads, pandemic-related stress and other workplace hazards undermine the mental health of workers, we also proposed a collaborative process to identify hazards related to psychological health and safety in the workplace.

But the employer rejected those proposals and others that would improve the ability of shop stewards to represent members and resolve workplace issues.

In the face of a real crisis in our health care system, we have put forward concrete measures to tackle unmanageable workloads. We’ve clearly highlighted how these added pressures are burning out our frontline workers, putting the sustainability of our health care system at risk.

The underwhelming response on these critical issues by health employers is disappointing. We’ll continue to press employers at the bargaining table for solutions that will ease the pressure on the frontlines.

The pandemic and multiple climate emergencies demonstrated how much our communities rely on our health care system. But they have also revealed that our system is under stress with workers at their breaking point. Health employers need to face this reality.

As you continue to struggle with pandemic-related shortages, and prepare for another summer of heat domes, fires and resulting floods, health employers are providing a lukewarm response to our proposals on pandemic and emergency disaster response. Proposals that include establishing a process for the redeployment of staff.

We have scheduled bargaining dates through June and we’ll keep you updated as talks progress.

In solidarity,

Your Health Facilities Bargaining Association