Fraser Health welcomes back 194 housekeeping and food service workers

PEOPLE Access to healthcare in the Lower Mainland will benefit from more stable, consistent and supportive patient care as 194 housekeeping and food service workers return to the public system as Fraser Health employees.

The change comes after almost 20 years of subcontracting these workers to private companies.

“Housekeeping and catering workers make a vital contribution to our healthcare system on a daily basis, and the decision to contract out these workers has had devastating effects,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday.

“Today we celebrate the return of 194 more workers as members of our healthcare team and the government’s commitment to improve the retention and recruitment of our valued healthcare workers in British Columbia. »

Health authorities and Providence Health Care continue to repatriate workers under Bill 47, bringing about 4,000 workers back into the public system.

On September 2, another 194 workers will be repatriated to six Fraser Health sites:

* Mission Memorial Hospital and The Residence in Mission

* Heritage Village

* Worthington Pavilion Cottage

* Fraser Canyon Hospital and Fraser Hope Lodge

* Hospice Holmberg

* Cypress, Cottonwood and Connolly pavilions

“Ensuring our health care workers are part of the team is essential to building a stronger public health care system and a stronger British Columbia for all of us,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Services. seniors and long-term care. .

“I am proud of the continued progress made on Bill 47 to bring health care workers back and give them the job security they deserve.

To tackle inequalities and improve the working conditions of employees in healthcare facilities, the government is ensuring that workers receive the benefits, wages and working conditions they deserve to be able to help patients.

Evidence has shown that employees who feel safe in their jobs provide higher quality care to people and, in turn, employers can attract and retain staff at a higher and more consistent level.

Following the initial announcement on August 30, 2021, health authorities and Providence Health Care served notice under 21 commercial services contracts and began a phased approach to repatriate housekeeping and catering contracts, starting with Island Health.

Work to reintegrate health service workers into the public system began in 2019, when the province enacted Bill 47 (Health Sector Acts Repeal Act). Bill 47 repealed the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act (Bill 29) and the Health Sector Partnership Agreements Act (Bill 94) , which had facilitated outsourcing in the health sector and had a significant impact on the workforce.

In 2020, the process was launched with North Island Hospitals, who spearheaded the decision, independent of Bill 47, to recruit 150 contract workers to hospitals in Campbell River and of Comox Valley.

Harry Bains, Minister of Labor and MP for Surrey-Newton, said: “The return of Fraser Health housekeeping and food service workers to the public system recognizes their importance and shows our appreciation for the vital work that they accomplish every day. Fraser Health and the patients served there are also better off. »

Dr. Victoria Lee, President and CEO of Fraser Health, said, “Our patients, clients and residents benefit greatly from the quality of care made possible by our housekeeping and food service attendants. Their passion and commitment have helped our healthcare system remain resilient during difficult times and, as Fraser Health employees, they are valued members of the healthcare team. Fraser Health is thrilled to welcome these workers back into the family this fall. »

Meena Brisard, Commercial Director-Secretary, Hospital Employees Union, said, “Housekeeping and food service workers are essential to the safety and care of patients in our health care system. By bringing these jobs back into the public service, the government is reversing the failed privatization policies of the past that fragmented our health care system. Bringing these workers together with the health care team means a stronger health care system and better working conditions for these frontline workers, most of whom are women or racialized workers.