UFCW 1518 Calls on all Provincial Health Employers and Dr. Bonnie Henry to Mandate Mask-Wearing for In-Home Care

Today, on behalf of UFCW 1518 members in community health, social services, and home support, President Kim Novak sent a letter to all health care employers in British Columbia. The letter demands that employers take strong steps to protect workers by requiring clients, their family members, and everyone that comes in contact with these workers to wear a mask if they are medically able to do so.

“These front-line workers have carefully followed health and safety protocols to protect themselves and their clients from this deadly virus,” said Novak. “They deserve the highest levels of protection and consideration as they carry on their critical work.”

UFCW 1518 has been in constant contact with members in community health, social services, and home care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These workers have informed the union that they are regularly put in situations where clients, members of the client’s home, and other parties nearby are unmasked.

In-home care frequently requires workers to come into close physical contact with clients. These situations put the workers, their families, and their other clients at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.

On November 5, the Provincial Health Office issued an order to require medical masks in most healthcare settings. UFCW 1518 is advocating for in-home care settings to require a similar mask mandate for anyone who is medically capable of wearing a mask.

“We look forward to seeing health care employers take important next steps to ensure the safety of workers and their clients by requiring masks to be worn immediately,” said Novak.

Click here to read a copy of the letter.

UFCW 1518 has also called on Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to issue a mandatory mask order for anyone who enters a grocery or retail store in British Columbia. Union members and members of the public can send a letter of support here.