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Cleaning, dietary workers coming back to B.C. hospitals

People in acute care facilities across BC will soon have more consistent care.

Today (Monday), the BC Government is bringing back support service workers and services that were previously contracted to private companies 20 years ago.

Starting this fall, the province will serve notice for 21 commercial service contracts and start a phased approach to repatriating housekeeping and food-service contracts.

This will improve wages, working conditions, job security, and stability for approximately 4,000 workers.

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This move started with Bill 47 (Health Sector Statutes Repeal Act), which was brought in during  July of 2019.

This piece of legislation repealed two existing pieces of legislation – the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act (Bill 29) and the Health Sector Partnerships Agreement Act (Bill 94), which facilitated contracting out in the health sector and caused significant labour impacts.

“Bill 47 was an important step in bringing basic fairness to public health care in our province,” said Adrian Dix, B.C.’s Minister of Health.

“The repatriation of housekeeping and food services contracts is good for patients, for workers, for the health- care team, and for recruiting future healthcare workers. It treats those who do the essential and life-saving work of keeping our hospitals and facilities clean and ensuring the nutrition of our patients with fairness and dignity. There is always more to do, but I am very proud of these decisions and the value they place on public health care.”

The government is currently working with the Hospital Employees’ Union, health authorities, and contractors on a phased-in plan that allows employers to address this change in a way that strengthens and enhances the health system’s services.

Contracts to be repatriated by health authority:

Vancouver Island Health Authority:

* MHC/Compass, 190 full-time equivalents (FTE), mixed services

* Morrison, 152 FTE, patient food services

* Compass, 230 FTE, housekeeping

* Acciona, 115 FTE, housekeeping

Fraser Health:

* Sodexo, 297 FTE, housekeeping

* Aramark, 214 FTE, housekeeping

* Compass, 132 FTE, mixed services

* Sodexo, 63 FTE, mixed services

Provincial Health Services Authority:

* Compass, 91 FTE, housekeeping

* SerVantage, 25 FTE, housekeeping

* Compass, 47 FTE, patient/retail food services (two contracts same service, same provider, across multiple facilities)

Vancouver Coastal Health/Providence Health Care:

* ​Compass, 12 FTE, patient food services

* Sodexo, 538 FTE, patient/retail food services (five contracts same service, same provider, across multiple facilities)

* Compass, 736 FTE, housekeeping

* Compass, 13 FTE, mixed services (two contracts same service, same provider, across multiple facilities)

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