Government brings private home care in-house

UFCW 1518 is applauding a decision by the BC NDP to bring privately-run home support services back into the government fold, a change that will improve quality of care for British Columbians and increase job security for community health workers.

“As one of the first unions to organize home support workers, we understand very clearly the challenges our members face in providing top notch care to some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said President Kim Novak. “This is a major victory that will reduce the uncertainty caused by private contract work and support our members in delivering the highest standard of care at home.”

The move to bring private home support services in-house will affect three of the province’s five health authorities – Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Vancouver Island – and is in part due to decades of lobbying by health care unions. President Novak added that members will remain under the same collective agreement, and will not face any loss in wages, benefits or pension plan.

Privately run home support services will transition to the health authorities over the next 12 months, largely ending the model of widespread private contracting in BC. Health Minister Adrian Dix said he has been working closely with the health authorities and expects the transition to go smoothly, maintaining continuity of care for clients [source].

UFCW 1518 represents about 2000 community health workers across the province.