Big Win for BC Hospital Workers Means Better Wages and Stronger Public Health Care

Great campaigns matter.

They change minds. Get attention. And compel action.

But the best part?

Campaigns can change people’s lives for the better.

On August 30, the BC government announced that it will end 20 years of failed privatization in hospital services – and bring cleaning and dietary workers back in-house at BC hospitals.

Make it public – For patients. For workers.
For safer hospitals. For better care.

It’s a huge win for hospital workers. And the result of tireless campaigning by the Hospital Employees’ Union to get private companies out of hospitals.

Reuniting the health care team will benefit more than 4,000 hospital workers and their families – and strengthen public health care services for all British Columbians.

For nearly 20 years, the contracting-out of hospital services has hurt workers and their families. Legislation introduced in 2002 led to some of the largest layoffs of women and workers of colour in Canadian history.

Privatization has undercut workers’ earnings and job security, undermining the ability of families to build a better future. As a result, high workloads and staff turnover have hurt frontline workers and the entire health care team.

The impact is still felt every day. Contracted-out hospital workers are earning less today than they did during the SARS epidemic 18 years ago.

In 2020, HEU launched Make It Public, a public engagement campaign to end contracting-out and make hospital services public again.

The campaign resulted in over 7,500 letters to MLAs, urging the BC government to keep its commitment to make hospital services public.

The NOW team is thrilled to congratulate HEU and its more than 50,000 members for helping to improve the lives of thousands of workers across BC.