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A SUMMER/FALL 2015 • VOLUME 33 NUMBER 2 • THE VOICE OF THE HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES’ UNION

HARPER CONSERVATIVES have abandoned our public health care system

$5

BILLION

to be cut from health transfers to the provinces over ten years.

BILLION to be lost in B.C. alone over ten years.

$5

BILLION in cuts to health care in British Columbia over

IS LIKE AGREEMENT NUMBER 40007486

ten

YEARS

LOSING:

8,300 care aide positions per year 2,000 full-time family doctors per year

1,223 hospital beds per year

33,000 joint replacement surgeries per year

RETURN TO The Guardian 5000 North Fraser Way Burnaby, B.C. V5J 5M3

CAELIE FRAMPTON PHOTO

$36

The October 19 federal election could be one of the most important in a generation. Find out why.

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FIRST P AGE REP ORT SUMMER/FALL 2015

Graphic recording by Sam Bradd at HEU Equity Conference 2015

In this election, change is not only possible. It’s absolutely necessary.

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HEU members have every reason to vote for change in October’s federal election. We know better than anyone how deeply Canada’s public medicare system is suffering under Conservative rule. We know that it simply cannot withstand Stephen Harper’s $36 billion cut in funding over the next several years. We also know how desperately we need a government in Ottawa that will enforce the Canada Health Act, stop the encroachment of private health care delivery, and provide the leadership and resources required to strengthen health care delivery. Without such commitments from Ottawa, we will continue to deal with cash-strapped hospitals, care homes and community facilities. And provincial governments will continue to privatize health services. But it doesn’t have to be this way. October’s federal election gives us the opportunity to make a clear choice – a better choice – for ourselves and all those we care for. In many respects, the future of Canada as we know it has reached a crossroad. Health care is one key reason to elect a government that will do things differently. And to that end, we are pulling out all the stops to make

participation in mobilizing progressive voters, and how you can get involved in making real change happen. As the country prepares to head to the polls, there are 2.8 million unemployed or underemployed Canadians. Nearly threequarters of the jobs created in the past six years have been precarious and in (part-time, temporary or in the selfcoalition with others, we have the employed sector). And with limited collective power to help elect a new, job prospects, household debt is at all-time high. progressive government for Canada. anWe need a new government that Attacks on unions, the deregulation of envi- is committed to real economic and social ronmental protections and standards, the development. One that gives Canadians highmuzzling of scientists, and the steady chipping quality, secure jobs instead of short-term, away of our democratic rights, freedoms and temporary positions. One that provides proinstitutions – these are some of the other rea- grams that benefit everyone – instead of tax sons progressive voters are mobilizing across relief programs that benefit a select few. One the country to unseat the Harper government. that is genuinely committed to protecting and By working together, and in coalition with improving universal public health care. While polls may shift and change over the others, we have the collective power to help elect course of the next several weeks, one thing is a new, progressive government for Canada. B.C. is a key battleground province. That clear – change is possible. And given the Harper record, it’s absolutely means how B.C. votes will have a definite necessary. impact on the outcome of this election. This edition of the Guardian provides you with information about the issues, HEU’s health care a top election issue for voters in every part of this country. But when you look at Harper’s record, since he first came to power in 2006, health care is not the only reason we need to make our presence felt at the ballot box.

By working together,

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COMMENT

Fighting for workers’ health and dignity, and better patient care Since becoming HEU’s secretary-business manager five months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many memSECRETARY-BUSINESS MANAGER bers at events, on solidarity picket lines, during our spring regional conferences and at our equity conference. And I’m so impressed by the work our members are doing all over the province. The message is clear: no matter the venue or the conversation, one thing I consistently hear from activists is that it’s time to take back the shop floor. After more than a decade of government policies that have fractured health care services and fragmented the health care team, members want to turn the tide. They want to raise the union’s presence in the workplace. And they want to have greater control over their working conditions. Absolutely, it’s time. As the employer carries on with the same old story – accelerate the pace, do more with less, privatize services – our members have reached their limit. They want to push back for the sake of their own health and dignity as well as for the care of their patients and residents. So we’re putting into action the five-year plan mandated by last fall’s convention. It’s simple. We’re focusing on increading member engagement by building relationships, increasing our capacity, increasing member mobilization and strengthening equity in our union. Some of this work is already underway as we continue to recruit new shop stewards. Under this plan, we will be increasing our investment in our workplace stewards to make sure they have the training, support and recognition they need to respond to members’ concerns. On the health and safety front, care aides have the highest injury rate in health care. And workers in long-term care have injury rates that are more than double those in acute care. It’s got to stop. Employers need to be accountable for their obligation to provide a safe work environment. That’s why we are increasing our investment in the union’s occupational JENNIFER WHITESIDE

health and safety program. Our goal is to equip HEU members with the tools they need to confront safety challenges in the workplace and reduce their risk of job-related illness and injury. At the same time, we are committed to increasing member engagement by creating opportunities for members in different sectors of the union to work together and build crosssectoral solidarity. And in recent months, we have mounted a significant campaign to make health care a key issue in this Yes, there’s a lot to be done. federal election. To But having met and talked date, dozens of HEU activists have volunwith so many of you in recent teered their time to reach out to members months, I am confident that and the public about we are on a solid path toward the importance of building greater member voting for politicians who will protect and power and solidarity across advance public health the union. care. Yes, there’s a lot to be done. But having met and talked with so many of you in recent months, I am confident that we are on a solid path toward building greater member power and solidarity across the union. And as the Guardian goes to press, I can’t emphasize strongly enough that one of the first places to use that power is at the ballot box. On October 19, let’s vote for change. Let’s elect a government that will stand up for health care and respect the rights of working people.

Get connected. Stay connected. Staying in touch with your union is easier than ever using social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. HEU’s Facebook page (search Hospital Employees’ Union) was launched last Fall but has already attracted more than 3,700 page likes making it one of the most popular Canadian labour sites on the social media network. Visit HEU’s Facebook page to find photos

of members at local events, union news and discussions about current events. You can also follow the union on Twitter (@hospempunion) for snapshots of union activities and current events in 140 characters or less. And don’t forget to follow your union on Instagram (heu_in_bc) and check out an extensive collection of historical photos along with photos of HEU members working for change in their communities.

ON THE COVER: HEU member Olga Zavaleta promotes the union’s Vote Health Care campaign.


Know your rights and risks on social media • 4 What are care aides up against in providing person-centred care for seniors • 5

BEN POWLESS PHOTO

Ontario migrant workers win historic victory • 10 Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for new path to the future • 11 Maude Barlow report documents Stephen Harper’s toll on Canadian democracy • 13

Defending members’ bargaining strength HEU is working to ensure that more than 900 housekeeping staff – caught up in the largest contract flip in the history of B.C.’s health care system – can remain members of the union.

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n July 24, the union filed earn lower wages overall – about $1.50 an initial application an hour less in some cases as Compass to the Labour Relations implements a “light housekeeping” wage Board to represent Lower rate for one out of seven workers. Mainland and Sunshine And unlike other situations where Coast cleaning staff health authorities have changed cleanemployed by Compass ing contractors – for example, when Group – the British corporation that will Fraser Health switched from Sodexo HEU members and staff attending a representation hearing at B.C.’s labour board. take over all Vancouver Coastal Health to Aramark at three of its hospitals and Providence Health – Compass refused to “And their continued membership wasn’t just about the money. It was Care cleaning operations sign a transition agreeis critical to ensuring that private and about our rights,” says Venzuela. by the end of September. “We’ve represented ment with HEU to ease public employers do not undermine the “We wanted to be in the same union Most of Compass’ the transfer for impacteconomic security of our members in as other health care workers. We wanted cleaning staff worked for cleaners in this ed workers. the future,” says Whiteside. the right to choose our own union. It the previous commercial region right back to Instead, Compass “We do not believe it is legitimate was a really hard fight. And in the end, contractor Aramark – says it will apply a colfor the company to use a collective we won. It was a huge victory. the U.S. company that the founding of our lective agreement it agreement covering 30 workers to “Now, we are having the same has held VCH’s comhas with the United deprive another 900 workers of their problem all over again. We’ve lost our union in 1944.” mercial cleaning conSteelworkers (USW) union membership.” jobs and some of us won’t be hired tract for more than a decade. that has historically applied to less HEU has also been making efforts – back,” adds Venzuela. “But we are not The Aramark cleaners joined HEU than 30 workers employed in some both directly and through its national going to lose our union.” in 2004 as part of a massive organiz- non-acute health authority offices. union – the Canadian Union of Public HEU represents about 4,400 cleaning drive that took place after health “Of course, we oppose Compass’ Employees – to convince USW to suping and dietary staff employed by four authorities fired thousands of HEU efforts to circumvent our members’ port HEU’s continued representation of different corporations in four different members and privatized cleaning and clear preference to remain in HEU,” the workers. health authorities. food services using the provisions of says Whiteside. Nelly Venzuela was part of the Through three major rounds of barBill 29 – contract-shredding legislation “We’ve represented cleaners in this organizing drive back in 2003 and gaining, the union has negotiated compassed by the BC Liberals in 2002. region right back to the founding of our has worked as a cleaner in Vancouver parable compensation packages and HEU’s secretary-business manager union in 1944. For more than 70 years, Coastal Health ever since. common expiry dates across this privaJennifer Whiteside says that these clean- they have played an important role in “We knew HEU would fight to make tized sector of health care. ers have clearly indicated their desire to building our union. our wages and benefits better. But it remain members of HEU. “These members have worked hard for more than a decade to build a common bargaining front across all contractors – Compass, Aramark, Sodexo and Acciona – that has resulted in massive improvements in wages, benefits and other collective agreement proviIn a strongly worded letter to HEU’s laidtation for you. We know Compass, and we sions,” says Whiteside. off Aramark members, Canadian Union of have other agreements with them. “There’s no question that the health Public Employees president Paul Moist “Your dedication and commitment puts authority and Compass are keen to says the national union will support their the care into health care, every day. Your undermine the bargaining strength continued membership in HEU and CUPE, courageous fight to become and stay we’ve established. “There’s also no question that we will which represents 630,000 workers. members of HEU/CUPE is an example to fight to protect our members’ unity and “As an HEU member, you are also part workers everywhere. bargaining power.” of the CUPE family. And I want to tell you “Our commitment always is to do the The lack of legislated successorship we are very proud of each and every one of best possible job for each of you at the protection in the sector means the you, and the work you do,” writes Moist. bargaining table and protecting your impact of the contract flip on workers “As you know, your employer Aramark rights in the workplace.” will be dramatic. will no longer have the Vancouver Coastal Moist has also written the United CUPE president Paul Moist Besides having to reapply for jobs some contract to provide housekeeping services. Steelworkers to remind them of a 2004 proto- talks with HEU members have held for more than a decade, many Compass will be the new employer and we col agreement recognizing HEU’s right to reor- at the union’s Provincial workers will lose weeks of annual vacaare committed to continuing our represenganize workers caught up in contract flips. Office in July. tion, face probationary wage rates, and

CUPE united behind HEU’s efforts to represent cleaning staff

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Welcome to the Hospital Employees’ Union HEU welcomes 43 community social services workers in the “Pioneer Lodge Group” of the Cranbrook Society for Community Living who voted to join the union in July. The Cranbrook Society delivers services to adults with developmental disabilities. In June, 246 HEU members working at Inglewood Care Centre in West

Vancouver reaffirmed their membership in the union. These members had initially received lay-off notices last year when their employer, CareCorp – the company subcontracted to provide resident care and support services at the nursing home – cancelled its contract with the facility’s owner. Subsequently, a new private contrac-

tor – SimpeQ – was engaged to provide the services. During that time, the union worked to ensure the vast majority of laid-off workers would be able to transition to the new employer without losing wages, benefits or seniority. And in May, 34 employees of Marquise Hospitality, working at Worthington Cottage in Abbotsford, voted to make HEU their union of choice.

Are you water wise? As temperatures rise and threats to our water supply become part of our public discussion, here are some interesting facts about our most important natural resource. • 70 per cent of the earth is water, but less than one per cent is drinkable. • Two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to face water scarcity by 2025. • A person can live about one month without food, but only about one week without water. • The earth is a closed system, so the same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today. • There’s more fresh water in the atmosphere than in all of the rivers on the planet combined. •

Less than three per cent of municipally treated water in B.C. is actually used for drinking. The rest goes down the drain, down the toilet or on our gardens.

B.C. residents use about 350 litres of water per person per day – not including industrial or agricultural use of water.

Two-thirds of the water used in the average home is used in the bathroom. 100 litres is the average volume of water that we flush down the toilet every day.

• Fixing a dripping tap can save up to 300 litres of quality B.C. drinking water per week. • Drinking water may help prevent arthritis. With good hydration and water in your body, there is less friction in your joints, which reduces your chance of developing arthritis.

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Forewarned is forearmed on social media

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n today’s world of modern technology, there are multiple ways for us to communicate. Although that may be beneficial in our personal and professional lives, it also makes us increasingly vulnerable to accidentally breaching workplace policies and patient privacy. Whether premeditated or completely innocent, a violation is a violation, and employers will treat it accordingly. In a nutshell, if we’re not careful about our “online activities” – at home or at work – we can get ourselves in a whole heap of trouble. As the list of social media platforms continues to grow so does the risk of posting something online that will come back to haunt us. But there are basic ways to protect ourselves: never post where we work on a social media site to avoid being perceived as speaking on behalf of our employer; never write about work, patients/residents, colleagues or managers online (or post their photos), as employers do monitor sites for questionable activities; use strict privacy settings and be selective about “friending” colleagues on social media. The more public access we allow, the less privacy we have. A few years ago, there was a residential care facility “incident” that hit the media. One savvy reporter went onto Facebook, did a filter search of

CUPW campaigns to save home delivery

Slashing door-to-door mail delivery across Canada isn’t happening without a fight, as postal workers and communities across the country mobilize to stop the cuts. In December 2013, Canada Post Corporation – with the support of Harper’s Conservative government – announced it would wipe out onethird of the country’s door-to-door mail delivery and replace the service with community mailboxes. Since then, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has been out in force with a campaign to protect

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anyone identifying that facility as their workplace, Googled employee phone numbers, and then cold-called HEU members for a comment. Luckily, the local chair was on the list, and she had enough union knowledge to politely refer the reporter to HEU’s communications department, and then alerted the union. In cases like that, a worker can be fired for speaking to the media about work issues concerning the employer. It’s considered a breach of confidentiality and privacy, and it’s also an employment violation to comment as an unauthorized spokesperson of our work site. Another serious infraction is using the employer’s computer software to look up lab results or review online medical records, even if they’re our own. Believe it or not, we’re not authorized to view our own medical information. This also applies to viewing hard copies of medical charts. Health care workers have been reprimanded, suspended or terminated for this privacy breach. For example, the Vancouver Island Health Authority has had to contact patients to inform them of two high-profile privacy breaches over the past nine months. Just because we’re able to access employer information – such as emails between managers – doesn’t mean we have the right to do so. Accessing

services for the public and save an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 jobs. Opposition to the cuts are widespread, including more than 500 resolutions from municipalities and advocacy groups opposed to the cuts. All opposition leaders have called on Harper to stop the removal of home delivery until after October’s federal election. And the New Democratic Party has promised that if elected, they would restore the door-to-door delivery service that has already been removed. Cities are also stepping up to protect their communities. The City of Hamilton, Ontario intro-

information that we’re not supposed to can lead to discipline. And if we write a letter to the editor voicing our personal opinion on an issue – but use our health authority’s email account – we can also be severely disciplined for identifying our workplace. Every keystroke we make on a computer, or website we search, can be tracked by the employer’s Information Technology department. If a worker spends half of their shift chatting online, that’s considered time theft. And if someone surfs the internet for pornography while at work, it will be tracked back to them. Even if we use a workplace computer not assigned to us, our online activities may be traced back to us. Some employers conduct random IT audits, while others go on a “fishing expedition” if they’re looking for reasons to reprimand an employee. Certain subject line words may also trigger an audit. And if a public figure is a patient, their medical chart automatically gets flagged and any unauthorized access to it is immediately reported. If HEU members want to be proactive in protecting ourselves, it’s important to be familiar with our employer’s privacy policies and to exercise good common sense. BRENDA WHITEHALL

duced a bylaw requiring Canada Post to pay $200 for every community mailbox installed. The Corporation refused, went to court and the judge sided with the Corporation. That decision is now under appeal. In Toronto, the City voted against ending the service and is demanding a plan. Canada Post recently


Valuing care aides’ work essential to providing person-centred care When it comes to providing quality, personcentred care, are care aides caught between the vision of how to make it happen and the day-to-day challenges of the workplace?

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care plans, assessments, and social are aides provide 80 per histories). cent of direct care to long“Although they are allowed access term care residents, but to these documents, there is no time are they valued, respected for them to actually go and read members of the team? Or, them,” says Caspar. As a result, care are they typically excludaides have told her they often feel they ed from the information have to “go in blind” when providing and planning functions needed to care to newly admitted residents or make individualized care possible? residents who have changes in their Sienna Caspar, a post-doctoral felcondition. low at the University of Victoria and As a result, they must rely primarily the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, on their own experiences, beliefs and has spent her entire academic career values when making daily care decistudying quality of care and worklife sions for their residents. in residential long-term care settings. In her most recent study, which Originally trained as a Certified involved shadowing 18 care aides on Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, all shifts in three Caspar returned to B.C. long-term care school, and for more facilities, Caspar than a decade, has discovered that the focussed her extensive only two instituresearch on care aide tional texts care empowerment and aides consistently what it takes to prohad access to (and duce meaningful, instithat were regularly tutional change. updated) were the “My ultimate goal bath and bowel lists. is improving quality “Whether done care for frail seniors,” consciously or not, she told the Guardian. SIENNA CASPAR the message to care “And what I’ve learned aides is your priis that if we want to mary role is to keep succeed, we have to “My ultimate goal is the bodies clean and address the quality of the bowels moving. worklife for care aides.” improving quality care And yet, care aides The picture she do so much more has gained over time for frail seniors. And shows that the majorwhat I’ve learned is that than that!” Caspar says care ity of care aides do not aides are the first have practical access if we want to succeed, to see changes in to “institutional texts”, we have to address the the residents’ conthe written documents ditions. They have that detail residents’ quality of work life for important informacare needs and preftion that the rest of erences (such as their care aides.”

announced they will preserve home mail delivery for 22,000 addresses in the downtown core. This summer, CUPW is travelling across the country to talk about the cuts to Canada Post. CUPW argues that ending home delivery is not warranted by the Corporation’s financial situation, noting that in the second quarter of 2014 the Canada Post Corporation reported $62 million in profit. In fact, it has reported profits in 17 of the past 19 years. Also at issue is the hardship caused for many people with restricted mobility who would be forced to walk or drive to a community mailbox to

receive their mail. Instead of reducing services, the union says Canada Post should follow the example of other countries and use its enormous retail network and its decades of banking experience to expand into financial services. Find out more at <www.savecanadapost.ca>.

Tories loosen gun restrictions When Steven Blaney, minister of public safety, introduced the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act (Bill C-42) in 2014, dozens of community and women’s groups, along with public health and safety specialists,

the team needs, but they end up hav“Care aides need a sense they are ing to share it on their own time, at working with people who value them, breaks or on the fly. As a result, what care about them and have their back,” they know may, or may not, be taken says Caspar, adding, “I haven’t met a up by the RN or LPN.” care aide yet who feels truly appreciAll this is fixable, says Caspar, but ated or recognized for the work they in order for cultural change to hapdo.” pen, institutions need to acknowledge And that work is tough. Every day, the way care aides give and receive care aides are dealing with unexpectinformation, which ed struggles in the is primarily an oral workplace – work“Care aides need a exchange. ing short, Norwalk That means care sense they are working outbreaks, resident teams need opportuaggression, and nities to come togeth- with people who value more. er for quick informaCaspar says the key tion exchanges and to them, care about them to making positive problem-solve. cultural change hapand have their back.” But she cautions pen is to address the that improvement can only happen day-to-day work processes that are if team leaders are responsive to what supporting practice change, or blockcare aides are bringing up and are ing it. willing to recognize their ideas and That’s one of her messages to suggestions. policy-makers and administrators. Caspar is a strong advocate for colHer message to care aides? “You laborative decision-making – which matter. The work you do really matincludes the whole care team, not just ters. There’s no more important work, part of it – as well as training for team and certainly no more challenging leaders about how to value and supwork. You should be proud.” port care aides’ contributions. PATTY GIBSON

spoke out against legislation that puts Canadians’ lives at risk. Ironically, on October 22, the day debates were to begin, the shootings at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill took place, killing Corporal Nathan Cirillo at Canada’s National War Memorial. Under Bill C-42, decades-long regulations have been lifted making it easier for people to acquire gun licenses, weakening restrictions on handguns and assault rifles, and putting decision-making power – on classifying prohibited or restricted weapons – into the hands of politicians instead of the trained RCMP. The law also introduces an auto-

matic license renewal period; a diluted screening process for risk factors (such as history of violence or psychiatric disorders), and easier access to transport restricted weapons which opens the door to illegal gun trafficking. The federal law also trumps provincial regulations, stripping powers from provinces advocating for tighter gun control within their own jurisdictions. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government began eroding many of these protections in 2011 when Canada’s long-gun registry was dismantled and data containing more than seven million gun registrations across the country was destroyed. continued on page 6

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The power of mobilizing

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city council meetings to lobby local have been an activist since I was politicians. a teenager. Some days, it’s disSo far, councils in Nelson, Kamloops, couraging when you feel like you Vernon, Williams Lake, Summerland aren’t making any progress. But and 100 Mile House have passed motions then, there are those moments to protect jobs in their communities. when you know that your work is The Cariboo Regional District board making a meaningful difference of directors, the South Cariboo Joint to improving the lives of others. Committee and the Regional District When I feel a sense of pride, or resilof Central Kootenay board of directors ience, it’s always because I’m inspired have also passed resolutions, speaking by the people standing beside me against the IHA’s privatization plans. working equally hard to achieve the Those accomplishments would not same goal. have been achieved without members In the labour movement, we call that mobilizing themselves, the public and “the power of mobilization” – bringing their communities. By raising awarepeople together to advocate for a comness, we have put a behind-the-scenes mon cause, and to do so with fierce business deal between integrity because we government and corporaknow we’re fighttions in the public eye. ing for what is right, The IHA has repeatedly what is fair, and said in-house laundry staff what is just. And are doing an excellent job we do it even when and providing an efficient there’s nothing to service. Yet, they’re willing gain personally from to risk patient safety and joining the fight. increase costs rather than In recent months, make a modest investment I have been meeting in capital equipment to members, speaking maintain a public service. at regional meetings, Donisa Bernardo We’ve seen the cost and making presenHEU Financial Secretary of outsourcing Lower tations to city counMainland laundry services rise by 170 cils and the Interior Health Authority’s per cent in less than a decade. board of directors to speak out against The Interior is a vast territory. plans to contract out hospital laundry During harsh winter conditions, when services in the region. ERs and surgeries need urgent linens I’ve been deeply moved by the that are stuck in trucks on highways, commitment HEU members have to how can that be good for patient care? protecting public services and familyHow can transporting hundreds supporting jobs in their communities. of thousands of pounds of hospiAnd I’ve been equally impressed by tal linens to the Lower Mainland or how they’ve caught the attention of Alberta, where the contract-bidders the media, and gained the support of are located, be good for the environthe public, local politicians and fellow ment? How can laying off 175 workers trade unionists. be good for local economies? At press time, more than 12,800 HEU members know privatization is British Columbians had signed an a bad choice. That’s why we have seen HEU petition to keep hospital laundry HEU activists – spanning all occupaservices in-house. That petition was tional groups – rally behind our launtabled in the B.C. Legislature. dry workers to fight for justice. Earlier this summer, hundreds of That is an amazing sign of internal people came out to rallies in Kelowna, solidarity. That is the power of mobiliKamloops and Nelson. And dozens of zation. And that is why I am proud to be HEU laundry workers and allies have an HEU member and an activist. written letters to editors, and attended

PRESIDENT’S DESK

Vote for a better Canada As HEU president, my job involves a tremendous amount of travel. I meet regularly with union activists, labour allies and community partners. VICTOR ELKINS Sometimes that work stretches beyond provincial borders, and I’m asked to represent our union on a national, or even international, level. And no matter where I speak – at home or abroad – I am always proud to wave the Maple Leaf, to be Canadian. But Canada’s reputation as one of the world’s most desirable places to live and work has suffered since Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to office in 2006. Let me be clear, the Harper Conservatives are no friends of the labour movement. They are no friends of HEU. And they are no friends of democracy. They have a blatant agenda to erode public health care, bust unions, and hand over public services to private corporations. That’s why this federal election is critical if we are going to stop Harper from further destroying many of the rights and privileges we enjoy as Canadians. HEU members often ask me why our union spends time and money on political action. What does that have to do with health care or the paycheques they bring home every two weeks? Well, sisters and brothers, politics has everything to do with our working lives. On July 27, CUPE National president Paul Moist visited HEU’s Provincial Office to talk to staff about a number of issues, particularly the election. He reminded us that it is a union’s duty and responsibility to be political because politics impact us every single day. And I couldn’t agree more. We need to be politically active in order to defend and preserve our hard-won human and labour rights, and to push back on policies that threaten to weaken those rights. How you vote is your choice. But members have a right to expect political leadership from their union. After all, it is the union’s job to advocate for members on issues that impact them at work and in their communities. The Harper Conservatives That’s why we engage in political are no friends of the labour action. We have seen from previous movement. They are no elections that HEU members’ votes friends of HEU. And they are make a difference. We can help win, or lose, elections. no friends of democracy. Let’s look to Alberta which voted for change, and made history by electing their province’s first NDP government. We cannot afford another four years of Harper’s Conservatives. We must join with progressive voters across the country and speak loudly at the ballot box. HEU is a strong, united force. Together, we can do this. We can vote for a better Canada, a Canada that can once again be a world leader in progressive policies. And a Canada we can be proud of.

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That move also weakened criminal record and mental health checks, and the mandatory reporting of weapon sales or firearm licenses by retailers, including rifles and military-style shotguns, such as the one used in the Montreal Massacre in 1989. Research has shown that strict gun-control laws reduce incidents of suicide and domestic violence, the trafficking of firearms, gunshot deaths and gang activity. In April, the Conservatives passed Bill C-42 despite unanimous opposition from

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all other parties. Unlike the United States, Canada’s Constitution does not include a “right to bear arms” clause. But that hasn’t stopped the National Rifle Association, America’s biggest gun lobbyist group, from putting pressure on the Canadian government to weaken gun-control laws, according to documents released by CBC News in 2010. For more information, visit Canada’s Coalition for Gun Control at <www.guncontrol.ca>.

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B.C.’s home support system nearing the breaking point

It is now harder than ever for B.C. seniors to access the basic home support services they need to remain at home, despite the B.C. Ministry of Health’s goal to support seniors to stay independent at home for as long as possible, says a recent report released by the Integrated Care Advocacy Group (ICA) and the BC Health Coalition (BCHC). Living Up to the Promise examines results from focus groups with the people most

directly connected to the home support system – clients, family caregivers, family physicians, and home care staff. “A strong consensus emerged from the focus group findings: the home support system could be doing so much more to help seniors stay healthy and live independently,” says report author Marcy Cohen, a researcher with ICA and BCHC and adjunct SFU faculty member. The number of seniors in B.C. has nearly doubled over the past 12 years, but the number of seniors receiving

home support in 2013-14 was virtually identical to the number receiving home support in 2001-02. Experiences from focus group participants revealed that the growing demand for services and limited resources has meant the role of home support workers has become very narrow. As a result, there is an increased burden on family caregivers and no ability for workers to provide the social support and basic services that are so vital to keeping seniors healthy. The report recommends


Voteheal hcare We’re voting on October 19. Here’s why. I came to Canada because it’s a great country. I’m voting to save our democracy.”

I want health care to be the way it was meant to be. Public. Maria Cesario Richmond local

Anahita Garman St. Paul’s local

I’m voting to make a change. Ernesto Morales St. Jude’s local

I’m going to vote because of the cuts to health care.

I’m voting to get rid of Harper. He promotes privatization.

It’s our duty and obligation to vote. People have fought and died for us to have this right.

Lourdes Pimentel Aramark, Vancouver General Hospital

Irma Stretch Royal Inland Hospital

Teresa McCoy Vancouver Island Autistic Home Society

This is the most important election in my life. Frederick Hachkevich Fellburn local

I’m voting NDP. I trust them to protect our health care. Natalie Fletcher Prince George local

CAELIE FRAMPTON PHOTOS

I’m voting because I care. Lalaine Rayo Dogwood Lodge

the Ministry of Health provide the funding for home support required to increase staffing levels, teamwork and training to ensure that seniors can stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Learn more at <www.bchealthcoalition.ca>.

Studies underscore union advantage

Two recent studies by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) show a growing gap between low-wage workers and highincome earners with the middle-class continuing to shrink.

A Higher Standard: The case for holding low-wage employers in Ontario to a higher standard by CCPA-Ontario senior economist Sheila Block reveals a shocking increase in precarious and lower income employment over the past two decades. Low-wage work (defined by pay rates within four dollars of Ontario’s minimum wage) increased by 94 per cent between 1997 and 2014. Although workers earning minimum wage increased from 2.4 per cent to 11.9 per cent during that time period, low-wage

jobs grew from 19.8 per cent to 29.4 per cent. The study also found that lower-wage workers had less paid time off than minimumwage earners, while 56.8 per cent of employees making above $15 an hour received paid leave, such as vacation or sick time. “The findings make a compelling case for modernizing the outdated labour laws in Ontario,” says Block. “There is also scope for the province to raise the minimum wage, to require employers to schedule more predict-

able work hours, to improve access to sick leave and vacation time, and to make it easier for low-wage workers to unionize.” Meanwhile, CCPA economist Hugh Mackenzie and statistician Richard Shillington released an extensive report examining Canada’s unionized workforce, the benefits of unionization, and how unionized employees fair better during economic recessions with more opportunities to advance to higher paid positions. S U M M E R / F A L L

“We can expect the middle class to shrink and upward mobility to stall, as long as union representation continues to decline,” says Mackenzie. “Any policy discussion around middle class economics would rightly examine these startling trends and reconsider ways to facilitate the rise of collective bargaining in Canada’s future. The health of the middle class depends on it.” For more on The Union Card: A Ticket Into Middle Class Stability, visit <www. policyalternatives.ca>. •

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HEU pulls out all the STOPS While the majority of voters are just turning their minds to issues, party leaders and candidates, HEU members have been getting ready for the most important national election in a generation. On July 21, HEU held a special telephone town hall for union members with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. He was unequivocal in his commitment to protecting public health care, saying “Medicare came in through the New Democratic Party. It’s part of our DNA. And we’re going to defend it every step of the way.” He criticized both Liberal and Conservative federal governments for cutting back Ottawa’s support for Canada’s universal public health care system, saying those cuts are putting more pressure on the provinces to open up private, for-profit care health services. And over two years ago, HEU teamed up with CUPE and the Council of Canadians to boost awareness about the damage the federal Conservative government is doing to public health care. Since then, HEU members have been out in force talking about Stephen Harper’s refusal to negotiate a new health accord with the provinces and territories – when the old agreement expired in 2014 – and highlighting his broken 2011 election promise on health care funding, which will result in a $36 billion decade-long cut. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair Working with the union’s allies, HEU has held rallies, town halls, membership meetings, and other events to raise the alarm about what is happening to public health care – and what Canadians can do to save it. Now HEU is ramping up its efforts to make the future of universal health care a ballot box issue when voters go to the polls in October. “Earlier this summer, we launched the Vote Health Care campaign and every member is invited to take part,” says HEU president Victor Elkins. “Our goal is to have as many HEU members talking about what’s at stake, while at the same time securing pledges to vote for MPs in our province who will stand up for public health care.” HEU regional vice-president and Columbia View Lodge nursing assistant Shelley Bridge has no problem talking with fellow HEU members about why things have to change in Ottawa, when she is out gathering vote pledges in the Kootenays. Bridge is one of more than 200 HEU members who have volunteered as pledge captains at their locals in the lead up to election day. They’re part of the union’s province-wide member-to-member campaign, which is all about mobilizing HEU members to make their influence felt at the ballot box. “For most HEU members I speak with, voting Stephen Harper out of office isn’t even a question for them,” says Bridge. “They know the issues. They see the impact of the cuts first hand at work.” HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside say the outcome of the federal election will swing the balance for medicare. “Right now, in B.C., nine times out of ten, it’s a choice between Conservatives bent on dismantling public health care, or NDP candidates whose party has committed to restoring the $36 billion in funding and creating a new health accord.” And she says the union’s Vote Health Care campaign gives HEU members a way to speak up on a matter of critical national importance – to their friends, family and co-workers. “We’re encouraging all our members to do what they can to make sure Canadians know that in this election, they need to vote for public health care.” For more information about getting involved in HEU’s Vote Health Care campaign, visit <www.heu.org/saveourhealthcarebc>.

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On October 19

As the Guardian goes to press, all indicators are that t of government in Ottawa is growing. What it will ta happen is your vote.

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For HEU members, like all Canadians, the key question is not only what to vote against, but what to vote for. In order to put the country and the lives of Canadians on a firmer footing, we need a government that is willing to invest in people. We need a government that will finally deliver on affordable child care, a sustainable economy with better jobs, a stronger public health care system, and retirement security for all. These four pillars provide a blueprint for the kind of change that will make a difference in the lives of all Canadians. It’s something to vote for.

RETIREMENT SECURITY 11 million Canadians do not have a workplace pension plan Canadians are worried about their retirement, and many fear they won’t have enough money saved. For some, the investment returns they were promised never materialized. Others just couldn’t save enough on their own. After a lifetime of hard work, no one should have to retire in poverty. Canada is facing a pension crisis. And for women, the crisis is more severe since only 58 per cent of senior women receive income from workplace pensions or RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plans) compared to 70 per cent of senior men. Racialized workers are also less likely to have a pension plan at work. And less than 25 per cent of Canadians contribute to RRSPs. With a modest increase to the contributions made by employers and workers, phased in gradually over several years, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits could be doubled. There is growing consensus among Canadians, provincial and territorial leaders, and pension experts, that expanding the CPP is the most efficient, effective and affordable way to address Canada’s pension crisis. So what are we waiting for? The federal government is ignoring the looming crisis and insisting Canadians can just fend for themselves. It’s time to expand the CPP because it benefits everyone. It follows workers from job to job across the country, covering all workers – including the 11 million Canadians who don’t have a workplace pension plan.

between putting fo the table and making their child gets the ca they need. But after decade of federal neglect our public health care system is dangerousl overstretched. Waiting lists ke growing. More than t million Canadians afford the medica need. Health care wor Private clinics that se system are starting to keeps growing and ag ing by $36 billion ove While Canadians w breaking its promise t Before the last fed promised to renew th increasing health car six per cent a year. All political parties ment was the only w they need, despite a demand and costs. Instead of cutting, cut, stop the privatiza and community care, in a public national peoples receive the sa

CHILD C

4 in 5 Cana six do not h regulated c

Today, four out of don't have access to families, the cost of

HEALTH CARE

36 billion dollars is being cut from health care When Tommy Douglas, founding leader of the NDP, introduced Canada’s first universal and public health care system, he envisioned a Canada where no parent would have to choose

education and trainin our federal governme ity child care and ea reduce poverty, and s


Voteheal hcare

we can make a better choice

the appetite for a change ake to make that change

ood on sure are

es t, e ly

eep three s can’t ations they rkers are forced to do more, for less. erve the wealthy and weaken the public o spring up. And as Canada’s population ging, the Conservatives cut federal funder the next 10 years. wait for care, the federal government is to put the funds we need into the system. deral election, Prime Minister Harper he federal Health Accord, committing to re transfer payments to the provinces by

s recognized that making this commitway to ensure Canadians will get the care rapidly aging population and increased

we need to reverse the 36 billion dollar ation of health care, invest in public home , long-term care and palliative care, bring drug plan, and ensure that Aboriginal ame health care as other Canadians.

CARE

adian children under have access to a child care space

f every five children under six years old a regulated child care space. For many child care is their second-highest expense after housing. Families can spend between $40 and $60 a day for care – and depending on the city, the cost can be even higher. Young families are squeezed on all sides, with mothers and fathers forced to work harder and longer than their parents. Quality, affordable child care enables parents to get the ng they need to get good jobs. It’s time ent fully recognizes that investing in qualarly learning, will increase employment, stimulate the economy for all Canadians.

Finding quality, affordable care shouldn’t be a never-ending struggle. Quebec’s example shows that affordable child care benefits the economy. Its $7-a-day child care program more than paid for itself through mothers’ annual income and consumption taxes. The Quebec program increased the number of women in the workforce by 3.8 per cent, pumping an additional $5.2 billion into the economy and boosting the province’s Gross Domestic Product by 1.7 per cent. Every dollar of public funds invested in quality child care sees a 254 per cent return in socio-economic benefits.

GOOD JOBS

Nearly one million Canadians have to juggle multiple jobs to make ends meet Under decades of Conservative and Liberal governments, the wages of Canadians have stagnated, while corporate profits and the incomes of the richest Canadians have risen. Our shaky economic recovery has left 2.8 million Canadians unemployed or underemployed. Nearly three-quarters of the jobs created over the past six years have been part-time, tem-

porary or in the self-employed sector. Nearly a million Canadians have to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. The impact is most apparent among younger Canadians, who continue to struggle with double the national unemployment rate. Increasing inequality and cuts are slowing down our economy. Canada needs a plan to build a stronger, sustainable economy that creates the jobs Canadians need for a more secure future. Workers are our strongest competitive advantage. By transitioning away from an economy dependent on fossil fuels to a low-carbon economy, Canada can create tens of thousands of quality jobs, boost the manufacturing sector and help fight climate change. By investing in people and the communities they live in – not just resource extraction – Canada can build an economy that works for everyone.

Make your PLAN to vote You are eligible to vote in the federal election if you are 18 years of age or older and a Canadian citizen. Elections Canada has a wealth of information for people who are new to voting or unclear about the voting process. Their website also has general voter information and an extensive section for Aboriginal voters, which includes election information, a voter’s guide and research reports published in several Aboriginal languages.

GET ON THE VOTERS’ LIST The most important step is to make sure that you are registered to vote. If you received a Voter Information Card during the last federal election and have not changed your address or your legal name, then you are on the Elections Canada List of Electors (voters’ list). You are also on the list if you checked “yes” in the Elections Canada box on your most recent income tax return. Although Elections BC and Elections Canada share voter information, there are different voting rules and regulations, so you may not be on the Elections Canada list, even if you received a Voter Information Card in the last provincial or municipal elections. If you moved, changed your legal name or did not receive a Voter Information Card, you can still vote. You need to register with Elections Canada, which you can do online, or by filling out a form and mailing it, or by phoning Elections Canada toll-free at 1-800-463-6868. You will be asked to provide identification, such as your driver’s license number.

YOUR ELECTORAL DISTRICT It’s crucial to know your electoral district so that you’re aware of which candidates are running for office in your riding (community) and where voter polling stations are located. That information can also be found on Elections Canada’s website (www.elections.ca), simply by typing in your postal code or address.

THE IDENTIFICATON YOU NEED You need to have identification in order to vote, and Elections Canada has three ways you can provide that. You can present photo ID with your name and current address (like a driver’s license or B.C. identification card), or two pieces of ID with your current address like a passport, Health Care Card, BC Hydro bill, or telephone bill (there’s an extensive list on the Elections Canada website), or you can show two pieces of ID with your name and have a person accompany you from the same polling division, who also has two pieces of ID, and can take an oath attesting to your identity.

WAYS TO VOTE There are also several ways to vote: in person on election day (October 19); in person during advanced voting days (October 9, 10, 11, 12); vote at any Elections Canada office before the October 13 at 6:00 p.m. deadline (must bring proof of ID and address), or request a mail-in ballot before the October 13 at 6:00 p.m. deadline. Source: www.elections.ca and CUPE National

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NOTEWORTHY NEWS ABOUT ISSUES AFFECTING WORKING PEOPLE HERE AND ABROAD

Anti-union bill clears Senate On the eve of Canada Day, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government forced its anti-union Bill C-377 through the Canadian Senate. With ongoing roadblocks being thrown up by concerned senators, the Tories overruled their own speaker and shut down debate on Bill C-377 in order to pass the bill into law. The vote was 35 to 22. Bill C-377 is designed to force unions – and no other similar organizations – to disclose all their financial information to employers and the general public. “The bill is unnecessary, unfair, imposes expensive and intrusive requirements on businesses and unions, and is untruthful about its real objective: silencing the voices of workers, and limiting the vital role unions play in a democratic society,” says CUPE National. And it will cost the government millions each year to administer. Opposition to the new law has stretched far beyond the labour movement into business, financial, legal and academic communities. Seven provinces also oppose Bill C-377, saying it violates the Constitution by intruding into provincial jurisdiction. They include Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Tom Mulcair’s NDP has pledged to repeal the law if elected. Learn more at <www.cupe.ca>.

Migrant workers win historic victory

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in a similar situation... that there he exploitation of is justice, and they should not just migrant workers in accept mistreatment or humiliation. Canada was back in the We must not stay silent... Under the spotlight this spring temporary foreign worker program, when the Human Rights the boss has all the power – over your Tribunal of Ontario money, house, status, everything. awarded the highest “Under this system of work, we compensation package in its history are essentially owned. If we don’t do to two Mexican sisters who were what they say, they have the power to sexually exploited at work. deport. We are obligated to work. Not The young women were hired, under as people, but as slaves. We endure the federal Temporary Foreign Worker wage theft, verbal abuse, physical (TFW) program, in 2007 by Presteve abuse, and our bodies are injured Foods Limited, a fish processing and because of the stress of the work. They packaging plant in Wheatley, a small push and push us. How can you say community in Southwestern Ontario. that we are free For the next when in practice eight years, the we have no right sisters – known “Under this system of work, to leave? by their initials we are essentially owned. If “But how can O.P.T. and M.P.T. we leave if we – endured sexual we don’t do what they say, cannot work harassment, fear another of deportation, they have the power to deport. for employer? They verbal threats We are obligated to work. Not harm us, and and sexual then they send assault by their as people, but as slaves.” us home. There employer. is racism underlying their treatment In its landmark ruling, the Tribunal of us. How is this allowed in Canada? awarded $50,000 plus interest to Treat us with dignity. Not as animals. M.P.T., and $150,000 plus interest But as human beings who merit to O.P.T. because of the scope of respect.” discrimination, humiliation and Unifor (formerly CAW), the abuse she experienced. Human Rights Legal Support Centre “This is a very important victory for and Justicia for Migrant Workers these women and for all vulnerable aided the sisters in their fight for workers,” says HEU secretaryjustice, and continue to call for a TFW business manager Jennifer Whiteside. program overhaul. “Migrant workers must have the same For years, trade union activists rights as Canadian-born workers to have raised warning flags about the dignity and security at work.” atrocious violations – human rights, In a statement, O.P.T. wrote: “I health and safety, and labour – that want to tell all women [who] are

underscore the TFW program, which was introduced as a pilot project in 2002 to address Canadian labour shortages. But human rights and labour watchdogs report that minimal program monitoring has created a trend of hiring cheap labour, forcing vulnerable workers into slave-like conditions – working long hours in unsafe environments for poverty pay. Many indentured workers are bullied into submission, and silenced by having no knowledge of their rights in a foreign country, no formal immigration process, and nowhere to turn as the TFW program stipulated that work permits were only valid for one employer. If a migrant worker got fired or left that employer, they would automatically be deported. In 2013 and 2014, under tremendous pressure from human rights and labour advocates, the federal government rolled out policy reforms to address program inequities, employer accountability and worker safety. “Anyone who is living and working in this country has the fundamental right to build a safe foundation for themselves and their families as contributing members of our society,” says Whiteside. “The federal reforms are inadequate and must go much further to address workers’ precarious immigration status and permit workers to access basic rights and entitlements.” BRENDA WHITEHALL

The only poll that counts is on Election Day

I The left can win this election, but to do that they must impassion Canadian voters and ignore the siren song of the pollsters.

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In Britain, like Canada, many voters’ passions are dictated more by fear than hope. I am 92, and over my lifetime, I have met many conservatives. One thing I am certain about is they are not bashful when it comes to their beliefs regarding issues of government taxation, crime and social policy. Yet, I do believe that modern polling can affect an election’s outcome, and this is why the left in Canada must be wary of data that shows the NDP in arm’s reach of a minority government. This is not the moment for Canada’s left to become complacent and think that its message of social progress and economic pragmatism that balances both corporate and individual interests will overcome Stephen Harper’s election machine. The left can never forget that Harper is a masterful political tactician who uses fear the way Roosevelt used hope and common sense to lift America out of the Great Depression. Besides fear, Harper’s Tories will sow doubt into the minds of ordinary Canadians about the economic competence of any left-

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of-centre governments despite their own horrendous mishandling of the country’s fiscal independence. If the left in Canada wants to win this election and return Canada to its citizens, it must address both the head and heart of ordinary voters. Most importantly, the left must engage the young of this country and ask them to stand up and accept that they have a role to play in its governance which comes by exercising one’s right to vote. The polls have a function in today’s modern election cycle, but politicians and citizens must rely upon their own common sense and passion for Canada, and not take voter snapshots at face value. The left can win this election, but to do that they must impassion Canadian voters through reason and hope and ignore the siren song of the pollsters. Because in the end, the only poll that counts is the final tally by Elections Canada. H ARRY SM ITH • UK AUTHOR AN D CELEBRATED AN TI-AUSTERITY CAMPAIGN ER

A full version of this column appeared on TheTyee.ca


Reconciliation process promotes deeper understanding of residential school system “We have described for you a mountain. We have shown you the path to the top. We call upon you to do the climbing.”

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Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair Truth and Reconciliation Commission

CAELIE FRAMPTON PHOTO

except for visits in the summer and at t took 1,355 hours of testimoChristmas. ny, 6,740 statements and six By the time she returned home at years for Canada’s Truth and the age of 16, Dickison had expeReconciliation Commission to rienced chronic hunger, loneliness, produce its damning report on confusion and sexual abuse at the the nation’s residential schools hands of both priests and nuns. That and recommend what needs to abuse ended when she turned 12, but be done now to heal the damage. so did the extras – like the candy and One of those testimonies came lotion she was given in return for her from retired HEU member Donna silence and obedience. Dickison of the Stl’atle’mc Nation in Looking back, Dickison says, “It Lillooet, B.C. was horrible. I didn’t want to be an During her career, Dickison Indian. I was ashamed of the colour of worked as a care aide at Haro Park my skin and I internalized my abuse. in Vancouver for 27 years. Like so I was also ashamed of many who have spoken my grandmother who out about the abuse only knew two English suffered in residential words – ‘dumb Indian’ schools, Dickison’s – obviously because it story is one of loss, isowas said to her so many lation, fear, shame and times.” stolen cultural identity. Feeling disconnected But it’s also a story of from her home and survival. family, Dickison headDickison vividly ed to Vancouver, but remembers the day she found it hard to fit she, and her sisters in. “I thought so little and brothers, boarded Donna Dickison, retired of myself when I left a train that picked up HEU member, shared her the school. And that Aboriginal children story with the Truth and along the way, and Reconciliation Commission. carried on for many years. If people misthen dropped them in took me as being Chinese, I just let Squamish where they took a boat to them think that.” Vancouver’s waterfront. Dickison weathered many rough From there, they were loaded onto times as a stranger in a new city, but a truck where they stood, clinging to life took a turn when she found her the rails, as they travelled to St. Mary’s calling as a care aide and a union Indian Residential School in Mission. activist. Dickison was seven years old. It “I always say the union gave me my was a journey that began nine long voice,” she says. “My activism began in years of separation from her parents,

Donna Dickison (bottom, third from right) spent nine years attending St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Mission.

HEU and it carried through.” Prior to telling her story to the Commission, Dickison had been invited to speak to the Canadian Parliament in 1998, when Ottawa issued its first statement of reconciliation. As to what should happen with the Commission’s 94 recommendations, Dickison says, “Now it’s up to the lawmakers. The silence has been broken. We can make a racist-free country, but it’s going to take time. “You must remember the silencing of us started many years before the residential schools with the stealing of our lands, putting us on small reserves while they took the best lands, the starvation of our people, and the illness that was bestowed upon many of our people.” Dickison’s quest for justice for all First Nations continues on many fronts, including at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver, Warriors organizing Women, and the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network.

“I really want to see an inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women. Every day, someone goes missing, back east and here. There are many stories nobody hears.” HEU member Martin Mackenzie is Dickison’s nephew. He works as a recreation therapist at Haro Park, and has followed in his aunt’s footsteps as a union activist and member of HEU’s First Nations Standing Committee. Although Mackenzie did not attend residential school, he’s heard the stories and has experienced the racism that is the shameful legacy of Canadian policies. Like Dickison, he has hope for the future and believes the Commission’s work has opened a door of understanding. “We’re starting to heal,” says Mackenzie. “I just came back from a conference where there were so many well-spoken young people, young activists and leaders. They made me feel incredibly proud. I feel like we’re coming back.” PATTY GIBSON

Murder charges laid in Rana Plaza garment factory collapse

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Two years after more than 3,600 textile workers were killed or injured in a garment factory collapse, the Bangladeshi government has filed murder charges against the Rana Plaza owner and 40 others. On April 24, 2013, despite warnings, factory owner Sohel Rana ignored safety orders from building inspectors and forced concerned employees back to work even though they had reported fatal cracks in the factory’s walls and foundation the previous day. Within hours, the multi-storey factory collapsed into a heap of twisted metal and asphalt dust, maiming, trapping and burying thousands of workers. More than 1,100 workers died and about 2,500

others suffered severe injuries. If found guilty, as many as 41 people, including several government officials and the owners of the five other garment factories operating within the Rana building, face the death penalty for their role in the tragedy. Charges for building code and safety violations will also be issued for illegally constructing additional floors and using them as factories. And the Anti-Corruption Commission has filed an illegal “wealth accumulation” case against Rana, who is currently detained at Kashimpur Jail. The 2013 disaster led to an international call to action by trade unions, community and human rights

groups, and some big-chain retailers, drawing attention to the deplorable sweatshop working conditions, child labour, poverty-level wages and long workdays that characterize Bangladesh’s $20 billion a year garment industry. Under the global microscope, Bangladesh’s government was pressured into finally introducing health and safety regulations to protect the country’s estimated four million textile workers, who make clothing for international retail giants, including Canada’s Loblaw (Joe Fresh), Walmart, Hudson’s Bay, Sears, Canadian Tire and Lululemon. In addition to the new safety protocols and recent murder charges related to the disaster, Rana Plaza victims and

S U M M E R / F A L L

their families will finally start receiving financial compensation for death, injuries, disabilities, lost wages and medical expenses as part of a scheme funded by global retailers. In January 2014, the International Labour Organization established the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund in an effort to raise $30 million to cover compensation awards to an estimated 5,000 claimants. Although that target was recently met, critics are appalled that it took the multi-billion dollar retail industry two years to contribute $30 million into the Fund, and that impoverished Bangladeshis have had to wait that long for any financial relief. •

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Save our in-house hospital laundry Over the past several months, HEU activists in the Interior have mobilized members in a strong fightback campaign to save in-house hospital laundry services in 11 communities, impacting 175 workers in the region. Lobbying local politicians and taking the union’s message to the streets, Interior Health Authority (IHA) laundry workers and supporters collected more than 12,800 signatures on a petition that was tabled at the B.C. Legislature in May, followed by a series of successful rallies in Kelowna, Nelson and Kamloops. An HEU delegation, led by financial secretary Donisa Bernardo, presented at the

ON THE JOB

IHA’s spring board meeting, urging the health authority to stop its privatization scheme. And at press time, councils in Nelson, Kamloops, Vernon, Summerland, Williams Lake, District of 100 Mile, along with the board of directors at Cariboo Regional District and the Regional District of Central Kootenay passed resolutions to save community jobs and an efficient public service.

HEU members unite for inclusion and respect HEU’s strength comes from our diversity. That message resonated for HEU members attending the union’s ninth Equity Conference at the end of May in Richmond. The conference brought

together members from the union’s five equity standing committees – Ethnic Diversity, First Nations, Pink Triangle, Women, and People with disAbilities. HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside talked to members about the Responsive Union Project, which stemmed from Resolution 75 that was adopted at the union’s 2012 convention and reaffirmed at the last convention. That resolution directs HEU to bring an equity lens to all of the union’s work, internally and externally. “The Responsive Union Project is part of a five-year action plan to have a gender and equality analysis in everything that we do,” said

CAELIE FRAMPTON PHOTO

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Workshop participants attending HEU’s ninth Equity Conference

Whiteside. “Today, we have the most diverse membership in the union’s 70-year history. “Privatization, de-accreditation, amalgamation, consolidation and shared services have all played key roles in driving down workers’ wages and eroding workers’ fundamental rights. And many of those workers are marginalized and from equity-seeking groups.” Conference attendees also heard from HEU’s leadership and special guest speakers, including First Nations greet-

ings from Rebecca Duncan and a keynote address from Canadian Labour Congress’ executive vice-president Marie Clark Walker. During Clark Walker’s address, she provided an overview of the impact of the Harper government’s policies on working people, and encouraged HEU members to get involved in the upcoming federal election. “We have to challenge the track record of this government,” she said. Over two-and-a-half days, conference delegates partici-

BRENDA WHITEHALL

HEU head electrician Dwain Ward and his co-workers are keeping B.C.’s hospitals powered up and energy efficient to ensure safe, quality care.

WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES

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any measures required to do the work,” says Ward, wain Ward is a head electrician at West “including any necessary after-hours work. Coast General Hospital (WCGH) “Then, I coordinate everything and get it approved in Port Alberni with a Field Safety with a cost centre. Any work that costs more than Representative (FSR) certification as $5,000 has to go through capital projects.” well. It’s a job most of us don’t think Ward recently worked with the Energy Management about in the context of health care Team at WCGH to do lighting retrofits at a cost of delivery, but like every HEU job, it’s $175,000 – a significant capital initiative. essential to safe, quality care. And under his FSR operating permit, Ward had An HEU member since 2002, Ward started his the qualifications to install two generators at Tofino health care career as a casual electrician before securing General, which saved VIHA substantial money from a permanent position two years later, and advancing to having to outsource the work. head electrician and maintenance supervisor III. Ward says his job requires specific training, including In his role, Ward supervises other electricians as electrician and FSR tickets credited by taking course well as outside contractors who are brought in on work and an exam through the B.C. Safety Authority. special projects. Like many HEU positions that are behind-theAlthough his home base is WCGH, Ward covers scenes, trades and maintenance jobs are vital in keepsix work sites that include acute and long-term care ing hospitals running safely, and Ward says his work facilities and a trauma clinic. He says it makes for a does have a direct impact on very busy shift, but he enjoys the patient care. variety. “Basically, there’s a team. We “We install and upgrade Ward’s duties include not only hands-on electrical work and have to know a little bit about nurse-call systems and fire alarm systems and panels at all of our daily maintenance routines, but a lot. I always say that when sites. And we look after elecalso coordinating major projects, preparing budgets, order- you start here, the best friend tronic locks for dementia areas. “In an emergency, if West ing materials, and on a typical Coast General is running withday, processing multiple online you have is the phone and out power and on a generator, requests for electrical services/ knowing who to call.” there has to be an electrician repairs. onsite. I am on-call 24/7 and I share that duty with “When VIHA makes a project request, I draw a one other supervisor because it was getting to be too mockup of the electrical work, do a price cost for much on my own.” anything over $250 on a client-funded form, and I Ward says the most rewarding part of his job is seeadvise them on materials, labour, dust control, and

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ing a project completed within budget. “Basically, there’s a team. We have to know a little bit about a lot. I always say that when you start here, the best friend you have is the phone and knowing who to call.” When asked how his work contributes to the health care team, Ward replied, “I would say the satisfaction of being able to make the other areas more comfortable or more manageable for patients, residents and staff, and to know that you can fulfill their requests.” Ward cites an incident in which his job truly made a potentially life-or-death situation end with a positive result. “West Coast General only had one generator and there was a power outage during a big storm,” recalls Ward. “And then, the power generator failed, but I was able to get it operating within about a minute. That was pretty rewarding.” Outside of work, Ward enjoys being active and spending family time. “I fish. I hunt. I golf with my kids. My kids both play hockey, and rather than coaching, my wife and I decided to help with safety and also managing the teams.”


pated in a number of workshops, including economics, creative writing, addictions and finding your voice. The equity standing committees also elected new caucuses for the next two years. These committees act as advisors to the Provincial Executive, helping to shape the direction of the union.

Vancouver to become a living wage employer Earlier this summer, HEU joined with the union’s partners in the Living Wage for Families Campaign and the Metro Vancouver Alliance to rally support for the City of Vancouver to adopt a living wage policy. As part of that effort, on July 8, HEU member Mary

Lyn Diana was among eight presenters to address council about the realities facing low-wage workers and why that needs to change. The result was a unanimous endorsement of a motion put forward by Mayor Gregor Robertson requesting council to “explore steps necessary for the municipal government to achieve certification as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Campaign.” By adopting a living wage policy for its direct staff and contractors, the City of Vancouver is on the road to becoming the first major Canadian municipality to become a living wage employer. The living wage is a region-

al calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four with two adults working for a full year, full-time, needs to earn to meet their basic expenses. The living wage for Metro Vancouver is now $20.68/hr. The next step for the City of Vancouver will be to draft an implementation plan that will be reviewed and approved by the Living Wage for Families Campaign in order for the City of Vancouver to qualify as a certified living wage employer. Currently, one in five children in B.C. live in poverty and 32 per cent of poor children in the province – 44,500 – live in families with at least one adult working full-time, year round.

Statistics also show that a single parent with one child, working fulltime for a full year HEU in partnership with the union’s Pink at B.C.’s minimum wage of $10.25 per Triangle Standing Committee was proud hour earns $8,000 to sponsor “In The Turn” at this year’s Vancouver Queer Film Festival. below the poverty The feature-length documentary tells line. the story of Crystal LaBonte, (far left) a Anti-poverty advocates say that 10-year-old transgender girl who finds a without living wage sense of belonging and self-worth when standards, families a queer roller derby collective takes her under their wing. Find our more at face impossible <www.intheturn.com>. choices: buy food or heat the house, feed the children at two or three jobs, just to or pay the rent. The result is pay for basic necessities. All often spiralling debt, conof which means little time stant anxiety and long-term is spent at home, let alone health problems. For many helping children with school more parents, it also means work or participating in comworking long hours, often munity activities. continued on page 14

The toll on Canadian democracy under Stephen Harper is breathtaking The following excerpts are taken from a recent report by Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians – Broken Covenant: How Stephen Harper set out to silence dissent and curtail democratic participation in Canada.

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his report tells a story – a story about a government bent on forever changing the relationship between our elected officials and the citizens it represents. Over the better part of the last 75 years, successive federal governments have helped to build a strong civil society presence in our country. Governments have funded rights movements, such as those for women, refugees and gays; environmental groups and independent environmental research; indigenous health, healing and education programs as well as the more formal indigenous institutions such as provincial and federal chiefs’ associations; legal advocacy groups that speak for the disadvantaged and challenge the status quo; civil society organizations that promote good health and maintain independent statistics; anti-poverty groups and non-governmental welfare research programs; union advocacy on behalf of working people; farmer co-ops and programs to support food producers and rural communities; and cultural programs and artists to promote Canadian culture at home and to the world. This government support created

a form of government-citizen partnership in order to empower and strengthen civil society, enhance the democratic process, and help build a check on government (and more recently on corporate) power and has led to many critical policy initiatives and legislative changes. It is important to note that political parties of all stripes agreed with the notion of building a strong civil society presence and supported the creation of the organizations and institutions to allow such a project to be successful… Stephen Harper does not share this vision for Canada. This is a Prime Minister who prorogued Parliament not once, but twice, when it “This is a Prime Minister who suited his political agenda. This is a Prime Minister prorogued Parliament not once, but who runs a secretive, highly twice, when it suited his political controlled operation. The group Canadian Journalists agenda. This is a Prime Minister who for Free Expression gives runs a secretive, highly controlled the Harper government the lowest possible grade operation.” ~ Maude Barlow for transparency, saying it ting environmental legislation with no takes longer than ever to opportunity for debate or dissent. access government information. This Debate in the House of Commons is a Prime Minister who uses omniis increasingly limited and parliamenbus budget implementation bills huntary committees meet more and more dreds of pages long to enact sweeping behind closed doors. The PMO comnon-budgetary changes such as gut-

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pulsively monitors and oversees all government communications, and senior bureaucrats, embassy staff and government scientists are regularly muzzled. So it can come as little surprise that Stephen Harper set his sights on his political opponents in civil society. He has called those who oppose his policies “terrorists” and “enemies of Canada.” There has been a relentless siege by this government against those who advocate for equality, justice, the environment and peace. The clear message is that those who are not on board with this government’s ideology will be punished. Dozens of organizations and advocacy groups have had their funding removed and others are threatened with the loss of charitable status. Government scientists and environmentalists have been muzzled and many have been fired. Institutions that have promoted a vibrant cultural community have had to close their doors. First Nations advocacy groups are scrambling in the wake of deep cuts. Agencies that promote human rights internationally have been eliminated. Anti-poverty and women’s groups have been gutted. Unions are fighting for the right to stand up for workers and the very right to unionize. And the government departments and agencies that service this civil society outreach have also been gutted. The toll on our democracy is breathtaking. Broken Covenant documents some of the damage in ten key areas that affect all our lives. Read the full report at <www. canadians.org>.

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continued from page 13

Union Pride Celebrating our union’s diversity, hundreds of HEU members came out in force across the province to participate in Pride events – building floats, march-

ing in parades and hosting information tables – including Victoria (July 5), Prince George (July 11), Vancouver (August 2), and Kelowna and New Westminster (August 15). Be sure to check out Nelson Pride on September 6. Summer Pride photos can be seen on HEU’s Facebook page <www.facebook.com/hospitalemployeesunion>.

Education and training programs in full swing

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER

SEPTEMBER 7

Labour Day HEU offices closed

SEPTEMBER 9-11 Provincial Executive meeting

SEPTEMBER 15-16

Provincial Executive Subcommittees’ meeting

OCTOBER 12

Thanksgiving Day HEU offices closed

OCTOBER 13

Health Care Team Appreciation Day

OCTOBER 18

Health Care Assistant Day

OCTOBER 19

Federal Election

OCTOBER 20-22 Provincial Executive meeting

NOVEMBER 2-6

CUPE National Convention Vancouver

NOVEMBER 16-18

B.C. Federation of Labour Renewal Conference

NOVEMBER 20

Transgender Day of Remembrance

DECEMBER 1 World AIDS Day

PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NUMBER 40007486

14

In recent months, the union has run a full roster of health and safety and shop steward training courses. Back in the spring, bullying and harassment workshops were presented during HEU’s regional meetings.

and Safety Committees. Offered to regular commit- HEU president Victor Elkins (second from tee members left) pictured above with members in Bella and their alterBella who work at the R.W. Memorial Large nates, it’s to Hospital. He also spent time with members provide basic in Bella Coola, and heard from both locals OH&S informaabout the challenges they face – delivering tion and educaand receiving care – in two of B.C.’s most tion on their remote communities. roles as OH&S stewards. The at providing rank-and-file union provided this trainmembers with general ing over the spring to HEU OH&S knowledge and to locals in the North, Interior learn about their workplace and the Kootenays. health and safety rights. After receiving an overBe sure to check HEU’s whelming response to an website and your local “Expression of Interest” call union bulletin board for for health and safety trainupdates, and also check ing, the union plans to roll HEU’s web calendar later in out workshops throughout the fall for information on the fall. CLC’s winter school. The pilot project is aimed

Hurtig’s ‘The Arrogant Autocrat’

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tephen Harper is not only destroying Canada’s democanywhere from a politician’s request to visit a seniors’ home to racy, he’s damaging the country’s economy as well. responding to student journalists. That’s the takeaway message in Mel Hurtig’s latHurtig says that once approval is granted from on high, then est book, The Arrogant Autocrat: Stephen Harper’s direction on the event and statements, including key messages Takeover of Canada. and attire, is dictated. While the shelves are filling up with books critiqu“This is the behaviour of an autocratic dictatorial regime,” ing Harper and his Conservative government’s track says Hurtig. record – notably Party of One by Micheal Harris and Harperism And while the rest of the world is tuning in to the serious by Donald Gutstein – Hurtig offers a concise, fact-based, easy-toimpacts of climate change, according to Hurtig the Harper read option. Conservatives remain fixated on tarThis short 140-page book traces the sands oil production and pipelines at the devastating impacts of the last nine years expense of other areas of the economy. of Conservative rule and concludes that “Where is the investment in technolHarper’s policies have seriously altered ogy to find cleaner energy alternatives,” the country’s social and economic fabric. asks Hurtig. “This blind pursuit of oil’s In particular, Hurtig documents and fortunes reveals a regime that is comtakes issue with the erosion of balance in pletely out of touch with national and government power through the gutting international realities.” of parliamentary procedure. As we head into an election, Hurtig In 2011, Harper was found in conwarns that Harper will boast about their tempt of Parliament because he refused stellar economic policies and role in to disclose information on the cost of helping Canada get through the 2008programs, making his Conservative gov- Mel Hurtig analyzes Harper record in 2011 recession. ernment the first government in history his latest book. However, Canada’s unemployment to be found in contempt by a committee rate is now higher than it was before that recession. Indeed, it of Parliament. was our strong regulatory framework and the work of decades Indeed, Hurtig argues Harper’s approach has made the of strong fiscal governance that helped our financial and bankHouse of Commons a “largely ceremonial body,” instead of a ing institutions maintain stability during the recession, he place of democracy. In 2008, 2009 and again in 2013, Harper points out. “prorogued” or shut down Parliament, effectively silencing the And when it comes to taking care of the most vulnerable, opposition and ensuring controversial issues were not debated. Canada is simply not meeting their needs. “We have one of the Proroguing also killed any legislation before the House. lowest rates of participating physicians per 1,000 inhabitants and, Hurtig also takes issue with how the Conservatives have unbelievably, 28 OECD countries have lower infant mortality mastered the art of the “omnibus” bill. Instead of debating and rates than Canada,” says Hurtig. Twenty-four OECD countries allowing a vote on each individual bill, the Conservatives cram also spend more on social programs than Canada as a percentage legislation through the House in one session and in one giant of their Gross Domestic Product. omnibus bill, essentially eroding the role of the Opposition. As a result, Canada has slipped down the international list of Outside of Parliament, Hurtig illustrates how the Prime Minister’s socially progressive countries in global rankings. Office (PMO) under Harper has become obsessed with controlling Instead of balancing the books through economic growth and communications and day-to-day government operations. increasing revenues from corporations paying their fair share, All communication with the public by his government Hurtig argues we’re hobbling our economy and inflicting longmust go through what’s called a Message Event Proposal term damage. (MEP). These proposals are submitted by elected Members of CAELIE FRAMPTON Parliament, public servants and cabinet ministers and range

G U A R D I A N • S U M M E R / F A L L

WWW.YOUTUBE.COM PHOTO

An HEU delegation joined our sisters and brothers as part of the multi-union pride float, giving away dozens of HEU Pride T-shirts and thousands of hand-fans, at Vancouver Pride on August 2.

In June, a group of HEU young workers attended the B.C. Federation of Labour’s Young Workers School at Camp Jubilee in North Vancouver. Their three-day workshop included an intro to the labour movement, labour history, leadership skills, preparing for the federal election, and health and safety training. And a delegation of HEU sisters attended the Summer Institute for Union Women, a weeklong skills development course at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. This fall, HEU’s education department will be holding “Intro OH&S” sessions in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island for members of local Joint Occupational Health

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EQUITY MATTERS RETIREMENTS Long-time HEU member Denise Anne Owens (Royal Columbian) retired in June. “I met some amazing people in my 37 years,” says Denise, “staff and patients too!” OWENS She worked at Burnaby Hospital from 1978 to 2004 as a food service worker. Following an injury, she was retrained and worked as a lab assistant at Royal Columbian Hospital from 2005 onwards, and then at the PHSA Lab for the past three years. Denise recently moved to Enderby where she plans to enjoy “quading”, fishing and relaxing. Yvonne Olson and Jean Farkas (Cumberland Health Centre) retired this spring. A 33-year HEU FARKAS (left) OLSON (right) member, Yvonne was a dietary aide and then a cook for the past 24 years. She also served as conductor on her local executive. For the residents, Yvonne danced, played music and even brought horses to visit. Her retirement plans include raising/training horses and enjoying her grandkids and family. For the past 26 years, Jean Farkas worked as a care aide, which she loved. “I have really enjoyed working at Cumberland Lodge. They have wonderful staff – very kind and caring.” Jean’s retirement plans include visiting family in Ontario, doing crafts, swimming, walking and visiting friends. After 15 years working as a recreation coordinator, Aleda Johnson (Lillooet) retired in May. She says she really enjoyed her work in JOHNSON long-term care, which she found very rewarding. Aleda volunteered for Lillooet Food Matters which ensures food security in the community by producing food locally. She was also a Lillooet Rod and Gun Club member. As a retiree, Aleda will continue her community involvement and volunteer with the Lodge residents.

Housekeeper Irene Marven (Compass at Cowichan District Hospital) retired in May. MARVEN She worked at her facility for almost 10 years and was an active member of her local executive. Irene served as chief shop steward, secretary and OH&S committee co-chair. She also attended many seminars and conventions. Irene will be missed by her fellow union members and the residents. After working at Cowichan District Hospital for 47 years Susan Witteveen (Cowichan WITTEVEEN Valley) has retired. Over her career, Susan was a housekeeper, an LPN, and a rehab assistant for the past 19 years. Her local gratefully thanks Susan for her dedication and inspirational spirit. She is an active hiker and a tireless supporter of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike fundraising team, having personally raised $57,000.

IN MEMORIAM Due to the complications of Type 1 diabetes, Jennifer Lynne Godick (White Rock) passed away peacefully with her family by her side at Surrey GODICK Memorial Hospital on April 20. Lynne worked as a care aide at Queen’s Park, George Derby and at Peace Arch Hospital. Lynne is remembered as a sweet and kind person who loved nature, her family and her dogs, which she called “children in fur jackets”. All who knew her mourn her loss. Jane Elizabeth Ann Jasamanidse (PHSA Amalgamated)] passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends at Vancouver General Hospital on April 20. Jane was an HEU member since 2000. She was a pay- JASAMANIDSE roll clerk 1 for Richmond Health Services, a payroll clerk III at Echelon until 2012, then a payroll supervisor with PHSA Amalgamated until March

2013. Remembered as a kind and generous person, people were drawn to Jane’s outgoing personality, infectious enthusiasm, sense of humour and contagious smile. Jane’s family, friends and co-workers will dearly miss her. Long-time activist Lesley Ann McArthur (Richmond local) passed away on June 24 after a courageous battle with cancer. Right up until her final days, Lesley Ann’s positive outMcARTHUR look never wavered. Lesley worked as a program assistant at Richmond Health Services. She started in 1986 as a unit aide, and then worked from 1998 to 2014, as a program assistant. For many of those years, Lesley Ann served on her local executive as shop steward, OH&S joint committee and vice-chair. A union mentor, Lesley Ann is remembered for her nononsense attitude, kind heart and big laugh. She played a key role in the community sector job description changes, and will be deeply missed by her family and all who knew her. After a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer, Randy Wilson (Marquise at Saanich Peninsula Hospital) passed away June 1 at Royal Jubilee Hospital. An HEU member since 2012, Randy worked as a cleaner for Marquise at the Priory Hospital, Mt. Tolmie, Aberdeen and finally Saanich Peninsula. He is remembered as dedicated, honest and kind. He enjoyed helping others and will truly be missed by all who knew him.

TALK TO US TOLL-FREE! PROVINCIAL OFFICE

• Burnaby Site 1-800-663-5813

REGIONAL OFFICES Northern Office

• Prince George 1-800-663-6539 Okanagan Office

• Kelowna 1-800-219-9699

Vancouver Island Offices

• Victoria Site 1-800-742-8001 • Comox Site 1-800-624-9940 Kootenay Office

• Nelson 1-800-437-9877

1.800.663.5813 or 604.438.5000 Lower Mainland Ask for Equity Officer Sharryn Modder ediversity@heu.org

ETHNIC DIVERSITY One union, many colours! Working across our differences! To participate, please call and leave us your name!

fnationspeople@heu.org

FIRST NATIONS First Nations members would like to hear from you! Please call if you would like to help educate our union sisters and brothers on issues that affect First Nations People.

pinktriangle@heu.org

PINK TRIANGLE For support: afraid of being identified, feeling isolated, want to know your rights? Call for information on same-sex benefits, fighting homophobia and discrimination.

pwd@heu.org

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES If you are on WCB, LTD, or if invisibly or visibly disabled in the workplace, let us know how the union can better meet your needs.

women@heu.org

WOMEN’S The HEU Women’s Standing Committee works with women’s groups, coalitions and other union committees to advance women’s social and economic rights. Want to get involved?

NOTIFY US OF YOUR CHANGE OF ADDRESS

by visiting our website and filling out our online form! www.heu.org/change-address-form

“In humble dedication to all those who toil to live.” EDI TO R

Mike Old M ANAGI N G   ED I T OR

Patty Gibson

ASSO CI AT E  ED I T OR

Brenda Whitehall

DESKTO P P ROD U CT I ON

Elaine Happer

DESI GN C ONS U LT A T I ON

Kris Klaasen, Working Design PRI NTI NG

Mitchell Press The Guardian is published on behalf of the Provincial Exec­utive of the Hospital Employ­ees’ Union, under the direction of the following editorial committee: Victor Elkins, Jennifer Whiteside, Donisa Bernardo, Carolyn Unsworth, Barb Nederpel, Ken Robinson, Kelly Knox PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE

Victor Elkins President Jennifer Whiteside Secretary-Business Manager Donisa Bernardo Financial Secretary Carolyn Unsworth 1st Vice-President Barb Nederpel 2nd Vice-President Ken Robinson 3rd Vice-President Kelly Knox Senior Trustee Jim Calvin Trustee Betty Valenzuela Trustee Debbie Dyer Regional Vice-President Fraser Jodi George Regional Vice-President Fraser Shelley Bridge Regional Vice-President Interior Jody Berg Regional Vice-President Interior

Dawn Thurston Regional Vice-President Interior Louella Vincent Regional Vice-President Vancouver Coastal John Fraser Regional Vice-President Vancouver Coastal Leonora Calingasan Regional Vice-President Vancouver Coastal Mike Cartwright Regional Vice-President North Sarah Thom Regional Vice-President North Bill McMullan Regional Vice-President Vancouver Island Barb Biley Regional Vice-President Vancouver Island Talitha Dekker First Alternate Provincial Executive UNION OFFICES

Provincial Office

5 000 North Fraser Way Burnaby V5J 5M3 604-438-5000 EMAIL heu@heu.org WEB www.heu.org Regional Offices VA N C OU V E R I SL A N D

Victoria 201-780 Tolmie Avenue Victoria V8X 3W4 (250) 480-0533 Comox 6-204 North Island Highway Courtenay, V9N 3P1 (250) 331-0368 I N T E R IOR R E G ION Kelowna 100-160 Dougall Rd. S. Kelowna V1X 3J4 (250) 765-8838 Nelson 745 Baker St. Nelson V1L 4J5 (250) 354-4466 N ORT H E R N

1197 Third Ave. Prince George V2L 3E4 (250) 564-2102

S U M M E RW/ IFNA TL EL R •• GG UU AA RR DD I I AA NN 22 00 01 55

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A SUMMER/FALL 2015 • VOLUME 33 NUMBER 2 • THE VOICE OF THE HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES’ UNION

HARPER CONSERVATIVES have abandoned our public health care system

$5

BILLION

to be cut from health transfers to the provinces over ten years.

BILLION to be lost in B.C. alone over ten years.

$5

BILLION in cuts to health care in British Columbia over

IS LIKE AGREEMENT NUMBER 40007486

ten

YEARS

LOSING:

8,300 care aide positions per year 2,000 full-time family doctors per year

1,223 hospital beds per year

33,000 joint replacement surgeries per year

RETURN TO The Guardian 5000 North Fraser Way Burnaby, B.C. V5J 5M3

CAELIE FRAMPTON PHOTO

$36

The October 19 federal election could be one of the most important in a generation. Find out why.

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Profile for Hospital Employees' Union

HEU Guardian - Summer/Fall 2015  

HEU Guardian - Summer/Fall 2015  

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