B.C.’s largest health union supports premiers’ call for more federal support for health care

Hospital Employees Union logo

Meena Brisard, Secretary-Business Manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU), issued the following statement on the occasion of the Council of the Federation meeting in Victoria:
“As Canada’s premiers’ gather in Victoria this week, I want to let them know that the health care heroes of the pandemic are not OK.
“Health care workers are facing unimaginable stress fueled by staffing shortages and compounded by the ongoing impact of COVID-19, a toxic drug crisis, another season of fires and floods, and rising costs that are eroding their pay.
“Our staffing crisis preceded this global pandemic, but each new wave of COVID-19 pushes us closer to the brink. 
“One out of three of our members are considering leaving health care in the next two years because of the stress they face in their workplaces.
“Health care desperately needs an infusion of resources. We strongly support Premier Horgan’s call on the federal government to step up with a commitment to increase their share of health care spending to at least 35 per cent from its current level of 22 per cent.
“We believe that increased funding needs to be delivered to front-line care, and not spent on wasteful privatization schemes that lack accountability and divert health care resources to private profits.
“Increased and sustained funding means that provinces can plan for the future, hire more health care workers, provide more surgeries and treatments, and improve seniors’ care and mental health and addiction services.
“We wish the premiers success in their efforts to secure more resources for front-line care and ensure that this important national program is sustainable into the future.”
The Hospital Employees’ Union is B.C.’s largest health care union with more than 50,000 members working across the health care team in hospitals, care homes, community services, First Nation’s health organizations, and in the health logistics and supply.