BCGEU urges continuity of care in home support

Contract re-tendering should minimize disruption, union says.

Vancouver (6 April 2010) - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is strongly urging the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health authorities to minimize disruption to workers and to ensure continuity of care for clients by awarding home support contracts to existing agencies staffed by BCGEU health care workers.

The health authorities are expected to complete the contract re-tendering process and announce successful agencies within the next two weeks.

In recent meetings with senior officials of both health authorities, representatives of the BCGEU, including president Darryl Walker along with Brenda Brown and Carla Dempsey of the union's health services component, urged against awarding new contracts to non-BCGEU agencies or to agencies based outside of BC with no personal care experience with clients in the service area. The union stressed the importance of maintaining current client-caregiver relationships.

BCGEU also sent letters to individual board members of the health authorities and asked seniors' groups and health care advocates to make similar appeals on behalf of its members and their clients. In addition, representatives of the health services component raised the issue of contract re-tendering at a meeting of the Vancouver Coastal board of directors this week.

BCGEU has offered to work with the health authorities and the successful agencies once the contracts are announced to ensure a smooth transition while protecting members' rights under the collective agreement.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE