UFCW 1518 and BCGEU call on BC Government to raise Community Health home support workers’ wages and protect their health and safety

Today, UFCW 1518 and the BC Government and Service Employee’s Union (BCGEU) called on the government to raise Community Health home care workers’ wages in light of the work they are doing to flatten the curve on the COVID-19 pandemic. The two unions came together demand better for their members as the COVID-19 crisis continues to present tremendous challenges to their work.

In March, the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) offered premium pay to nurses. Unfortunately, this substantial pay benefit was not extended to other health care professionals. This measure led to low morale and sent the message that the work being undertaken by Community Health workers is less valuable. On top of that, Community Health home support workers face additional expenses during COVID-19, like child care, to complete their essential work duties.

UFCW 1518 and the BC GEU asked the government that all home support workers be provided with equal pay to the prevailing rates in HEABC-run care facilities.

“Community Health workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, caring for vulnerable people in our society,” said UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak. “The government needs to acknowledge their crucial work and offer them fair compensation.”

The joint letter also raised concerns about inconsistencies that members have been reporting around the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and asks for clear guidelines to be established and enforced around the use of PPE in home care.

You can join our call for pay fairness and clear guidelines for PPE by signing our petition.

Raising home care workers pay and creating clarity around Personal Protective Equipment will bring more fairness to home support services and help to flatten the curve on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read a full copy of the letter that was sent to Health Minister Adrian Dix.