“Although the care they provide is crucial, these workers are often under-recognized or outright forgotten. They deserve to be seen.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"Profit should not be the motive when it comes to how we care for our seniors." — Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader
“If stronger measures aren’t taken now, we’re likely to see a crisis in our shelter system like the one we saw in long-term care.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
The evidence has never been clearer that for-profit homes are a risk to the lives of the residents.
“Our members in the CBO sector provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We need to recognize these workers for their dedication and ensure they have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE).” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
"This paper is one step of many that NUPGE will be taking on the topic of COVID-19 and income inequality. We know more work needs to be done on specific needs for different vulnerable populations. The problems facing our northern Indigenous communities are going to be different from the problems facing a new immigrant family who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to make sure everyone's voice is heard and their needs addressed. We hope this paper helps our lawmakers to understand the complexity of how COVID-19 affects different social and economic groups and encourages them to take further action." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
And what about the long list of workers that have been deemed essential during this pandemic? People who work in our grocery and convenience stores, at gas stations, or who provide food delivery. These are also the heroes we’re hearing about. Would you have seen them that way before the pandemic broke out?
“You can’t provide emergency housing over a video conference. We need to be there to ensure that they get the safe and supportive housing they need.” — Kareen Marshall, OPSEU Community Agencies Sector Chair
We need to take care of ourselves especially now and a big part of being healthy means taking care of our mental health. Stress is a major factor in poor health. And for those who struggle with mental illness, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, these times are especially difficult.
The strength of our health care system rests on our doctors, nurses, health science professionals, allied health workers, EMS personnel, DSWs, PSWs, health care aides, orderlies, cleaners, food service workers and others; to treat patients and keep the broader public safe, they need to be protected.
"These jobs are difficult, demanding and stressful, but they are there because they are helping people. They deserve our recognition for being an integral part of our health and community support systems. On behalf of the 390,000 members of NUPGE — thank you!" — Bert Blundon, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
"This is a win for seniors as much as it is for workers." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
“The delivery of quality mental health care begins with quality jobs. MCS’s employees work tirelessly to support families across the region.” — Val Avery, HSABC President
BCGEU/NUPGE sees the report as supporting their call to restore seniors' care in B.C. by putting people before profits and bringing the sector back under government as a public service.
“Our members at ParaMed Home Health Care want what we all want: a level playing field and a fair shot at success." — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
"Let's take time to say thank you to those who take on such important work and support them as they fight for a better future for all of us." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
As NUPGE members who work to provide services for seniors can tell you, funding has not kept pace with need.
Unless the Minister completely rejects the idea that the Social Finance Fund will be used to "bring private funding, incentives and discipline into social services," past experience shows we need to assume that it will be used to subsidize the privatization of social services.
"This attempt to block much-needed reform to a sector in crisis and to better support home support workers is appalling. We realize the business interests of the BCCPA will be affected by this change, but it's time to put the well-being of people over profit and address the damage resulting from almost 20 years of privatization and underfunding in the sector." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
The B.C. government has committed to work collaboratively with stakeholders to implement the repeal of these bills. The BCGEU/NUPGE and HSABC/NUPGE look forward to engaging in this process to support, and significantly improve conditions for workers affected by these changes.