Health minister repeals laws, saying B.C. needs satisfied, secure health workers
|Toronto Star 08 Nov 2018 at 13:46|
VANCOUVERâ€”B.C. labour activists are celebrating the impending repeal of two bills theyâ€™ve fought to quash for almost two decades.
Minister of Health Adrian Dix introduced legislation on Thursday to repeal Bill 29 and Bill 94, which gave employers in the health-care sector broad licence to lay off employees and restrict employment-security language in collective agreements with unions. The acts came into effect in 2002 and 2003.
Workers at a Hospital Employeesâ€™ Union held a rally and barbecue in Coquitlam on July 8 that drew more than a hundred workers, family members and supporters. Labour advocates, and especially the Hospital Employeesâ€™ Union, have long argued Bill 29 and Bill 94 create unfair working conditions.Â Â (Hospital Employeesâ€™ Union)
Labour advocates, and especially the Hospital Employeesâ€™ Union , have long argued the acts create unfair working conditions that disproportionately impact women of colour. These women comprise a large share of care-home employees performing duties like cleaning facilities and looking after seniors in long-term care.
Contract flipping â€” which occurs when contracted employees who unionize are laid off and replaced with workers under another contract â€” in B.C. and can result in low-wage workers losing whatever protections theyâ€™ve gained through unionization.
An expert panel that reviewed B.C.â€™s labour code for the first time since 1992 released recommendations last month aimed at ending contract flipping in certain sectors, including health care.
In a statement released by the government Thursday, Dix is quoted saying: â€śThis 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.â€ť
Irene Lanzinger, president of the BC Federation of Labour, said in a statement Thursday that the repeal will be a positive move for both workers and patients who rely on their services and companionship.
â€śRepealing the legislation is a positive step that will end rampant contract-flipping in health care and make for more stable care â€” especially for seniors,â€ť Lanzinger said.