HEU Guardian - Winter 2020

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WINTER 2020 • VOL. 38 • NO. 2

CARING IN A CRISIS HEU care aides share their challenges amid COVID-19 second wave


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

Jennifer Gauthier PHOTO




In the eye of the storm HEU care aides at outbreak sites share their insights and coping strategies | 7


It was a tough year, but one that opened opportunities Critical equity work, reuniting health care team are key goals


Majority win for NDP Hope for HEU members in health care promises | 3

Workload relief New training program aims to create 3,000 new care aide jobs | 5

Recipe for disaster Alberta heading down the road to privatized health care | 11 Josh Berson PHOTO

CRISIS MANAGEMENT | In the midst of a once-in-a-generation health emergency, HEU members have shown compassion, courage and determination.

AS THE Guardian goes to press,

7 5 COLUMNS Viewpoint

It’s critical to protect our own mental and physical health | 6

President’s Desk

Our union finds new ways to take care of business online | 6

In Plain Sight

New report reveals anti-Indigenous racism in health care system | 12

health care workers are receiving COVID-19 vaccines in round one of an unprecedented mass immunization campaign that will take months to complete. If all goes well, we’ll achieve “herd immunity” by the fall, and then reclaim important parts of our lives that have been put on hold. It can’t come soon enough. Long-term care homes face massive staffing shortages compounded by necessary but restrictive single site orders. This has left workers physically and emotionally exhausted, struggling to provide comfort and care in the face of deadly outbreaks. In hospitals, our members quickly retooled this summer to reduce the backlog of cancelled surgeries and other procedures. Now they face the prospect of an extended second wave filling up ICUs and COVID-19 units. And in the community, workers are constantly challenged to protect themselves and their clients from infection in unpredictable settings. The pandemic has also taken a toll on our union. While we’ve been able to move much of our education and other meetings online, it’s been difficult for many locals to carry out normal business. And of course HEU’s convention was put on hold for a

year – the first time in the history of our union. But 2020 has also provided opportunities to move forward on important priorities.

Diversity, equity and inclusion project Top among these is our work on diversity, equity and inclusion – our efforts to make sure the governance of our union reflects the face of our membership. It’s the first phase of a DEI strategy adopted by delegates at the last convention but interrupted by the pandemic. In 2020, this work has taken on even more urgency with a recent report into anti-Indigenous racism in health care, a rise in anti-Asian racism linked to the pandemic, and widespread protests across North America this past year in support of Black Lives Matter. This is the moment, and the union’s DEI working group is reengaging with members and will report to the union’s convention next fall on how we can move forward.

New majority government, new opportunities A new majority NDP government means that a just pandemic recovery, one that moves many HEU members from the margins to full inclusion in the health care team, is possible.

They’ve committed to continuing to level up wages in seniors’ care beyond the pandemic – and promised a return to standard wages, benefits and working conditions across the sector. The premier has also mandated health minister Adrian Dix to bring contracted-out hospital dietary and housekeeping work back under the control of health authorities. Reuniting the health care team after 20 years of privatization and contracting out won’t be left to chance. It means better care for

The DEI working group is re-engaging with members and will report to the union’s convention next fall. patients and residents – and justice and equity for a group of workers who have kept the faith and tirelessly mobilized for this result. In the midst of a once-in-a-generation health emergency, HEU members have shown compassion, courage and a determination to build a better and more just health care system. It’s no surprise that more the 1,500 unorganized health care workers have joined HEU over the past year. Here’s to a brighter 2021! Winter 2020 | GUARDIAN 1

COMMENT Mike Old | Secretary-Business Manager (interim) We now have an opportunity to restore a common standard to those members of the health care team who’ve been earning substandard wages and benefits

Justice for HEU members must be a priority


FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS as HEU’s secretary-business manager, Jennifer Whiteside led our union to significant victories, including the repeal of Bill 29, the restoration of contracting-out protections in the facilities agreement, and the restart of a provincial safety agency for health care workers – to name but a few. Jennifer is now the MLA for New Westminster and B.C.’s Minister of Education in a majority NDP government. We could not be prouder, and we thank her for all her efforts on behalf of HEU members. With her departure, I’ve been appointed on an interim basis by your Provincial Executive to serve as secretary-business manager, while they seek a permanent replacement for Jennifer. When I started working at HEU back in 1997, our health care system looked a lot different for HEU members – with most covered under a single collective agreement with a common wage schedule, pension, robust sick leave provisions and other benefits. With the election of a majority NDP government, we now have an opportunity to restore that common standard to those members of the health care team who’ve been earning substandard wages and benefits as a result of B.C. Liberal-era privatization and contracting out. These policies have had an outsized impact on women and workers of colour within our union. Justice for these members is long overdue. In the recent election, Premier John Horgan campaigned on a com-

mitment to bring contracted-out housekeepers and dietary workers employed by global corporations back under the control of health authorities. And we will hold them to it. We’ve already launched an advertising and letter-writing campaign urging the NDP government to move quickly on this commitment and we will carry this campaign into 2021. The premier also promised to restore provincial standards for wages, benefits and working conditions in long-term care and assisted living – and he’s already committed to maintain levelled-up wages for these workers post-pandemic. Bringing workers in this sector under a common standard once again will bring stability to seniors’ care because it will help us deal with a recruitment and retention crisis that was undermining care long before the pandemic struck. All of us are focused on the pandemic and the toll that it is taking on frontline health care workers right now, and over the long term. Keeping members safe will continue to be our top priority. But justice for those HEU members who’ve been left behind must be front and centre in B.C.’s pandemic recovery plan in the months ahead. In the busy year our union has ahead of us, we will stay focused on translating these commitments into concrete actions.

FIGHT TO DEFEND PUBLIC HEALTH CARE HAS DEEP ROOTS It was 2002. The Canadian government was delivering its Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care. Dr. Brian Day was beginning to make his case for a two-tier health care system, which would lead to his lengthy legal challenge to the B.C. Medicare Protection Act. And the B.C. Liberal government had just torn up agreements and broken election promises, and began contracting out health care services to private, for-profit companies. When Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Vancouver invited the new private companies for a tour of the

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facility, HEU members were there to confront them. Defying employer threats of discipline, they staged an overnight sit-in in solidarity with members around the province who would be losing their jobs. The statement was clear: “Health care is not for sale!” After the protest, HEU members joined the National Save Medicare rally in downtown Vancouver. This year, the B.C. Supreme Court rejected Dr. Day’s challenge, and affirmed the importance of protecting a universal public health care system.

Your union. Your paper.

HEU leader elected as MLA


NDP takes majority Campaign centred on health care commitments IN OCTOBER, British Columbians gave the BC NDP a strong mandate by electing 57 of its candidates during the provincial general election. This is the first BC NDP majority government since 1996. The election results are promising for HEU members and health care workers throughout the province. The BC NDP made important health care promises during their campaign, including a commitment to maintain levelled-up wages for workers in long-term care and assisted living after the pandemic ends. This measure is aimed at ensuring workers can afford to work at only one facility, and that all facilities can recruit and retain staff. This was one of the critical actions B.C. took early in the pandemic to stem the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. Other health care commitments by the BC NDP include: a comprehensive strategy to expand the health care workforce (including improving licensing to allow people trained in other countries to work in B.C.); training and recruiting 7,000 new health care workers in long-term care and assisted living; and re-establishing provincial standards for wages, benefits and working conditions in seniors’ care. One campaign commitment stands out for thousands of HEU contracted support service members who work in housekeeping, dietary and retail services in health

STEPPING UP | BC NDP Premier John Horgan met with HEU members in Richmond during the October election campaign, pledging to find solutions to the problems in long-term care.

facilities: the NDP’s promise to bring contracted-out hospital and longterm care support service workers back into the public sector. Workers in this sector were among the first to face the BC Liberals’ campaign to privatize public services and dismantle our public health care system. “Through their resilience and activism, members in this sector have made important improvements to their wages and working conditions over the years,” says Mike Old, HEU’s interim secretary-business manager. “But our members know that bringing these important services back under the health authorities is the only way to significantly restore

working conditions, and ensure safety and accountability in our health facilities.” As this sector prepares for bargaining with nine private contractors in the coming months, HEU members are hopeful that the election of an NDP majority means these workers will finally be brought back into the public sector. Health workers also expect to see workers’ concerns well-represented in the new provincial government, with the election of a number of representatives from B.C.’s labour movement, including HEU’s secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside.

loads, and increased responsibilities without increased wages were widespread concerns. Care staffing ratios differed widely between facilities. A single worker might assist 30 to 100 residents in one shift. Working alone was a common experience for many, especially during night shift. Members reported safety concerns at night, including the risk of breakins; being alone with residents who may become violent; and being the sole decision-maker when emergencies arise. Assisted living facilities are also on the front lines of COVID-19.

More than 7,500 HEU members work in sites with assisted living services, where there have been approximately 20 outbreaks. It’s clear that working conditions and needs of residents in assisted living are changing, and that workload, quality of care, fair wages, and staffing levels are key concerns.


HEU’s secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside was recently elected and sworn in as the NDP Member of the Legislative Assembly for New Westminster. Whiteside has also recently been appointed as the Minister of Education. Whiteside had been in her role at HEU since 2015 as the top administrative staff person. She led as the chief negotiator for the Facilities Bargaining Association and served as the union’s main spokesperson. “We’re very proud of all Jennifer has accomplished at HEU on behalf of working people, as an advocate for equity and social justice, and most recently, for her work to protect seniors and workers during this pandemic,” says HEU president Barb Nederpel. “She will be a fierce advocate for her constituents in New Westminster and beyond.” HEU’s former coordinator of policy and planning Mike Old, who has been with the organization for more than 20 years, has been appointed as interim secretary-business manager while HEU undergoes a recruitment process to fill the position.

A STRONG VOICE | Former HEU leader Jennifer Whiteside will serve as Minister of Education in the provincial government.

YOUR UNION Study shows concerns in assisted living HEU members who work in assisted living shared their experiences with the union’s research department recently – and results show that the work of care staff has changed significantly since assisted living was developed close to 20 years ago. Many members noted that assisted living facilities are caring for more high-needs residents but without the staffing, training and equipment available in longterm care. Short-staffing, heavy work-

Changes to pension plan proposed This fall, HEU undertook the task of reaching out to the union’s 36,500 members in the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) to inform

and help members understand proposed changes to the plan as set out in an Agreement in Principle reached by the Plan Partners. During the consultation period of September 14 to October 23, HEU’s team of pension experts connected with 27,215 members by web, email, social media, Zoom, and phone. The team explained the changes, including steps to address long-standing structural inequities where lower-paid workers (most HEU members are in this category) were subsidizing higher-paid workers. Changes

Winter 2020 | GUARDIAN 3

Caelie Frampton PHOTO



HEU helps challenge picketing restrictions HEU JOINED the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and many other unions this October to challenge the B.C. Labour Code’s overly restrictive rules around picketing. The case arose out of the last round of bargaining at a number of Gateway Casino locations represented by the BCGEU across the province. In B.C., unions are prohibited from picketing at “secondary” sites, including “separate and distinct operations” of the struck employer. For BCGEU, this meant that when the employees of Lake City Casino in Vernon went on strike in 2018, BCGEU was prevented from exerting pressure on the employer by erecting picket lines at any of the employer’s 13 other B.C.-based casinos. For HEU, the Code’s picketing restrictions mean that if employees of Nanaimo Seniors Village, a long-term care facility in Nanaimo, went on strike, they would only be able to form a picket line at their work location. They could not form a picket line anywhere else, including at any of the 10 other long-term care facilities operated by the same employer and represented by HEU, or at the corporate headquarters of the managers or owners of their work site. The effect of these restrictions is that workers’ freedom of expression is limited more severely than speech by the general population. It also means that strikes are less effective against powerful corporate employers, who can survive a strike more easily because their corporate revenues at their other locations are not affected. The good news is the labour movement has come together to challenge this state of affairs and demonstrate to the Labour Relations Board that these provisions violate workers’ freedoms of expression and association and are unconstitutional. The case concluded on October 30 and HEU looks forward to receiving the Board’s decision some time next year.



Filing a COVID claim A clear record of events bolsters evidence IF A WORKER contracts COVID-19 through work, they have the right to apply to WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation Board or WCB) for wage and medical benefits. In October this year, WCB added COVID19 to the list of illnesses and injuries included in “presumptive coverage.” This means that a worker infected with COVID-19 is presumed to have caught it at work, as long as there is a “significant risk of exposure” in the workplace. You do not have to be working in a COVID-19 unit, or interacting directly with patients or residents in order to have your claim considered. File as soon as you have missed work, or need health care treatment. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 at work, it’s important to report and document the incident as soon as possible. First, file an incident report with your supervisor. This will establish a record of the exposure. In addition, keep a personal journal, track your symptoms, and contact your doctor or Telehealth to report any signs of illness. Keeping detailed records of the incident and your symptoms will be important when you proceed to file a claim. Even

with the presumption in place, WCB may still deny compensation. You increase your chance of success by presenting a clear record of events. If your claim is denied, contact HEU’s OH&S appeals team. Do this as soon as possible, and no later than 90 days from the date you were denied. HEU will discuss and assess your situation, and assist you through an appeal process. At this time, WCB is not accepting claims from workers who self-isolate for nonwork-related reasons (such as travel, or exposure in the community). A claim will also be denied if you choose to stay away from work because of anxiety, or because you have a pre-existing condition or a vulnerable family member. According to WCB, 897 COVID-19related claims have been submitted so far by workers in health care and social services. If your WCB claim is denied and you wish to appeal the decision, call HEU’s WCB Hotline: 604-456-7186 (Lower Mainland) or toll-free at 1-877-438-5550. Find out more about how to file a WCB claim at <heu.org/worksafebc-claims>.

YOUR UNION include applying a single pension formula, which will significantly boost retirement benefits for most HEU members. The final agreement is expected to be approved by the MPP Board of Trustees this spring. When accepted, the changes will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

Welcome new members Despite a global pandemic, B.C. health care workers are seeking union representation, and many are choosing HEU. Throughout 2020, HEU organizers found creative ways to safely mobilize non-unionized 4 GUARDIAN | Winter Fall/Winter 20202018

employees. We welcome 92 members working for Golden Life Management Corp at Kootenay Street Village, a long-term care facility in Cranbrook. We also extend warm greetings to 61 care aides at Langley Lodge, a long-term care site with care services contracted by Pro Vita. In addition, we’re joined by 50 support service workers, contracted by WestCana, at Carlton Gardens, a long-term care residence in Burnaby. 1,500 members made HEU their union of choice this year.

Contract support service workers set to begin bargaining

HEU’s contracted support service workers are back to bargaining, building on the gains from 2017’s “United for Fairness” campaign.

More than 4,000 HEU members who work in housekeeping, dietary and retail services started preparing for bargaining this fall. Contracted support service workers (CSSW) who are employed by private multinationals Acciona, Aramark, Compass, Compass Marquise and Sodexo have elected a bargaining committee that represents sites across the 11 bargaining units. CSSW members are eager to bargain for greater fairness and respect, given the critical role they


New program to recruit care aides

Thousands of new jobs to be created in response to crisis WORKING on a day off, taking double shifts and being shortstaffed are daily realities for HEU members working in seniors’ care during this pandemic. The serious recruitment and retention crisis in seniors’ care is nothing new, but the COVID-19 pandemic has focused public attention on the lack of staff in a system that has been fragmented and weakened by waves of privatization and contracting out under the previous B.C. Liberal government. As part of a $1.6 billion investment to strengthen B.C.’s COVID19 response in a number of areas, the province is creating 3,000 new jobs in a Health Career Access Program (HCAP). The program provides on-thejob training and education in partnership with established postsecondary institutions to become a qualified care aide. During the training period, HCAP participants will work as extra staff – health care support workers -- in their facilities and will not be providing hands on care. At the conclusion of the program, participants must work for a certain amount of time as care aides or pay back some of the program’s (prorated) cost, referred to as a return of service. The initial 100 placements in the program are all be located in health authority operated sites

play in keeping health facilities safe, and patients well cared for. At the same time, CSSW members are hopeful that an NDP government commitment to bring these contracted services back into the public sector will be fulfilled. This would make significant improvements in working conditions and patient care.

Congratulations to HEU bursary recipients Each academic year, HEU awards a number of bursaries, sponsored by union locals and HEU’s Provincial Executive (P.E.). They’re available to members,

and run in conjuction with public community college HCA programs. The program will expand to cover non-health authority employers as well. “Investments in recruiting and training more staff for seniors’ care is welcome and over the long term will help reduce workloads, but it will take time,” says HEU’s interim secretary-business manager Mike Old. “But to be sustainable, we need to move quickly to re-establish a level playing field for wages and working conditions in this sector. This will stabilize working and

caring conditions over the long term and protect critical care relationships.” The B.C. government’s monthly COVID-19 update, released in mid-November, reported nearly

Government needs to move quickly on a provincial standard for seniors’ care. 8,000 HCAP applicants had been interviewed or screened. In addition to funding the HCAP program, the the $1.6 billion investment in the COVID response

includes funding for thousands of new long-term workers including screeners, and more than $168 million to level up wages in long-term care and assisted living. In the recent 2020 provincial election, the BC NDP also promised to maintain levelled-up wages after the pandemic and to restore a sector standard. The commitment was part of a package of seniors’ care proposals that included greater oversight of the spending of public funds by private care home operators and a plan to build more public and non-profit care homes. SARA ROZELL

STAFFING UP | The $1.6 billion investment includes the new positions and more than $165 million to level up wages in long-term care and assisted living.

their children, stepchildren and legal guardians, and spouses, including common-law and samesex partners, who need financial assistance and demonstrate satisfactory academic standing. Here are the 2020-2021 recipients and their sponsoring locals: Receiving $350 bursaries: Joleen Prystupa (UBC), Sharon Gill (Badhan) (Victoria General), Linda St Eloi (Royal Columbian). Receiving $500 bursaries: Spencer Tanner (P.E. – Alex Paterson Memorial), Phaniraj Ganeshan (Vancouver General), Nishant Prashar (Royal Jubilee), Wanida Vongpraseuth (St. Paul’s

– Robert Standell), Amrit Singh (PHSA Amalgamated – Cathy Peters Memorial), Pardip Sangha (Vancouver General), Jenna Silkin-Maychos (P.E.), Catelyn Creswick (Richmond), Hailey Bowker (Burnaby), Paolo Miguel Toribio (P.E. – Ginger Goodwin), Alyssa Anderson (Maple Ridge – Tara Hansen Memorial), Serena Smith (Prince George), Heather Forsyth (People with Disabilities Standing Committee – Cathy Peters Memorial). Receiving $1,000 bursaries: Grace Adana-Bester (P.E.), Rebekah Anderson (P.E.), Sequoiah Bevilacqua (P.E.), Echo

Cheng (P.E.), Marie ClementHardisty (P.E.), Erica Gauley (P.E.), Sydney Hill (P.E.), Pui Kwan Peggy Hung (P.E.), Arim Jung (P.E.), Jasjot Parmar (P.E.), Paige Kovacs (P.E.), Nicole Labelle (P.E.), Conor Macdonald (P.E.), Dency Mammen (P.E.), Veronika Parkinson (P.E.), Mackenzie Perry (P.E.), Yasmin Pirani (P.E.), Julia Reniers-Smith (P.E.), Wynn Waite (P.E.) Vanna Thai (P.E.), Evelyn Tan (Surrey – Iris Andrews Memorial), Shawn Almeida (P.E. – Ray McCready Memorial), Nicholas Toal (Surrey and P.E. – Edward James Ashmore Memorial).

Fall/Winter Winter 2020 2018 | GUARDIAN 5


OUR LEGAL TEAM THE SIX MEMBERS of the HEU legal department represent the union and its members at grievance arbitrations, and before the Labour Relations Board, courts and other tribunals. They also provide legal advice and training to staff representatives and directors, support law and policy reform initiatives and strategize with HEU’s leadership on significant issues affecting the union.

Betty Valenzuela | Financial Secretary


We’re hearing about the toll on members, as they continue to provide care while worrying about their own safety and that of their loved ones.

WE’RE IN THE MIDST of one of the most challenging times for our public health care system. When I talk to HEU members, the conversations quickly turn to what they’re experiencing on the front lines during this pandemic. And let me share with you that what I hear is very troubling as we enter into the second wave of COVID-19, further restrictions, and more burden on our health care system and those providing care. All of us are struggling. I want members to know that I see you. Your union cares very deeply. We see the hard work you’re doing. We see the unrelenting stress and anxiety you’ve been experiencing, especially with outbreaks and infections all around us at our work sites. Health and safety are top concerns

Members are more concerned than ever about workplace health and safety. The union continues to share information about the steps members should take if they experience COVID-19 exposure, symptoms or are confirmed to have COVID-19. We’re also hearing about the mental and psychological toll on members, as they continue to provide care while worrying about their own safety and that of their loved ones. HEU members ensure patients and residents are fed. We make sure they’re safe. We keep their environment clean and sanitized. We hold their hands and give them support when they can’t see their families. Sadly, many of us have had to say goodbye to the people we’ve been caring for. Under the weight of our work and our worries, we often neglect our own mental health. But it’s critical we take care of our mind and body so that we can take care of others.

Mental health support for health care workers

I encourage members to make use of the many mental health services and resources that are available to provide psychological support to health care workers, like SafeCare BC (safecarebc.ca), the Canadian Mental Health Association (careforcaregivers.ca), and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s Provincial Health Services Authority Mobile Response Team (1-888-686-3022). And I encourage members to visit the “Health and Safety” section of HEU’s website for updated COVID-19 resources and information. This has been an undeniably hard year for everyone, especially health care workers. But I remain in awe of how our members have handled this global pandemic with compassion, care and resilience.

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Barb Nederpel | President

PRESIDENT’S DESK As essential health care workers struggling to keep yourselves and your families safe, you have still stayed connected.

A POPULAR BUZZWORD in 2020 is “pivot” – meaning our ability to be flexible when regularly called upon to change our course of action during this global pandemic. And nowhere is that flexibility more evident than in our health care system. HEU members have had to adapt so frequently, it’s left our heads spinning. But we have always been resilient. HEU has made some tough decisions – including postponing our biennial convention, cancelling in-person bargaining sessions, moving our education program online, and learning new technology to engage members – such as Zoom, Webex and Simply Voting. Union business carries on in new ways

We’ve had to change how we conduct labour-management meetings to resolve member grievances. We’ve established new methods to bargain and vote on collective agreements. And we’re finding creative ways to organize new locals. The business of the union hasn’t stopped, it’s just transitioned. Holding in-person local meetings is not a viable or safe option right now, and we have a responsibility to prevent any opportunity for potential transmission. Provincial health orders and WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety plans, which are legally required at every workplace, mean many members are excluded from union participation, which impacts the democracy of local decision-making.

Supporting locals with online tools

That’s why HEU continues to find new ways to ensure all members have access to your union – such as virtual local meetings, communicating through Facebook groups or other social media sites, and offering Zoom training workshops. HEU’s Pandemic Fund also supports locals to purchase laptops to conduct union business, as I anticipate a hybrid of this new model will be the future of our local meetings. Transitioning to online has actually made local meetings more inclusive and accessible to members, who find it more convenient to fit union meetings into their work schedules and family commitments. And it solves age-old problems facing geographically challenged locals. I cannot express how proud I am of our membership. As essential health care workers struggling to keep yourselves and your families safe, you have still stayed connected as union members. It’s a huge transition for us, but it’s a safe and viable option to support each other until we can break bread together again.


Care aides at outbreak sites share their struggles and strategies to stay grounded as second wave surges

About 20,000 HEU members work in long-term care. About 15,000 of those are care aides, and others are housekeepers, dietary aides, licenced practical nurses, activity aides, registered nurses, and numerous other job classifications. All of them come in direct contact with residents, and are bearing the brunt of the outbreaks in the health care system. We spoke to care aides at three different sites, who have worked through at least one major COVID-19 outbreak, about their experiences, and what they do to take care of themselves so they can continue to care for others.

In a changed world, care aide Cathy Stephen and others have learned new ways of coping with stress and grief.

more.. Winter 2020 | GUARDIAN 7

Cathy Stephen finds solace talking with her sister, a retired care aide.

SEATED IN A CAMPING CHAIR with her feet soaking in the Alouette River is where Cathy Stephen spent her downtime this summer.



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Like many long-term care workers serving on the front lines of a COVID-19 outbreak, Stephen has witnessed dark times, and in a changed world, she and others have learned new ways of coping with stress and grief. Coffee dates with friends, beach barbecues and visits with grandchildren were off the table this summer for Stephen. Instead, she took solace in video chats with loved ones and evenings by the river with her boyfriend. Days off, we would go there for one o’clock and not leave until seven,” she said. Stephen is a care aide at New Vista Care Home in Burnaby, a privately run non-profit facility that has now been through two outbreaks. During its first outbreak, six people were infected, but in its more recent outbreak, 22 residents and 18 staff members were infected with COVID-19. The uncertainty of what would come next, as Stephen worked through the outbreak, was taxing. “There’s just a fear of it. Not knowing what’s going to happen,” she said, as her voice broke with emotion. “The residents were going through a lot, you know, and we were taking that burden on as well,” she said. After work, Stephen would be alone in her apartment. Fearful that she might unknowingly spread the virus to friends or family, or even re-introduce the virus to her workplace, she was very careful about leaving the house. As a highly social person, this was especially difficult. “You’re just sitting, sitting at home every

night and you get depressed. ‘What am I going to do in this apartment by myself?’ I wasn’t used to doing it, just having to stay in,” she said. Stephen often called her sister, a retired care aide who could empathize with what she was going through. The sisters even met by the river a few times. “She knows what the job is like and said, ‘I can’t imagine what you’re going through now.’”

FOR NICOLE PIZZOLON, who’s worked in

health care for more than three decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating. She compares it to war. “I feel like we’re on a battlefield and we’re dodging COVID bullets. Every day when we go to work, that’s what we’re doing.” Pizzolon works at Fellburn Care Centre, which is operated by the Fraser Health Authority. The centre is in the midst of a major outbreak that has seen at least 36 residents and 16 staff test positive for the virus, along with four deaths. Normally, Pizzolon says that connecting with residents energizes her, but the PPE has made that difficult. “You’ve built such a rapport with the people you care for … they’re your family, they’re part of your life,” she said. Now, she’s worried about the loneliness they feel due to a lack of social connection and touch. “They can’t see your smile,” she said. For years, lunchtime power walks are what


Nicole Pizzolon calls her walk home from work every day “a cleansing time”.


kept Pizzolon grounded. But the pandemic threw regular break-times out the window, so instead she walks home from work every day. “It really is a cleansing time for my brain ... [because] I don’t want to unload everything on my family when I come home,” she says. Pizzolon, who is a shop steward, says that being a sounding board for her colleagues also helps her cope. “I’m happy to do that, it’s who I am as a person,” she says. But poor communication from manage-

Rosario Gatasi says rest, fresh air, and her dog Mochi keep her spirits up.

ment around COVID-19 measures have been particularly frustrating for Pizzolon, who has a penchant for justice. “I want to fix things, I want things to be right, I want people to be happy ... [and for] the water to be calm,” she said. To that end, Pizzolon says that frequent calls with her HEU rep have been helpful, and that he helps her strategize on how to raise issues with management. “We have built a rapport, him and I, and I’ve never met him face-to-face,” she said.


also in Burnaby, care aide Rosario Gatasi says the centre’s COVID outbreak was a “very tough” challenge on which she refused to give up. “I was very hopeful we could eliminate the virus,” she said. Dufferin’s outbreak saw 22 infections and four deaths. Gatasi worked directly with those infected, and it meant isolating herself from the rest of her family while at home. “I have a role to help these residents get better, I was a tool to help them. I have to do what I have to do, I have to give proper care to them.” In April, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the province restricted longterm care aides to working at only one facility. This meant that Dufferin was shortstaffed, and Gatasi worked back-to-back shifts totaling 14 hours a day. “I don’t know how I was able to survive that schedule,” she said. Weekends were dedicated entirely to caring for her body. “I have two days off. I make sure I am rested, get enough sleep, eat a good meal.” Her dog, Mochi, kept her spirits up. Having a dog meant that she was forced to get fresh air and exercise after work. “I just try taking a deep breath and I go out, I walk my dog, I come back. I feel better,” she said. At the work site, close relationships with colleagues are what kept her going, she said. “That is what made us push through the fear and stress of working with residents that were infected. “That was the most important thing, we were really helping each other.”

Winter 2020 | GUARDIAN 9


News from here and around the world


Food couriers seek mutual support Solidarity between gig workers could be important step toward unionization FOOD DELIVERY drivers are supporting each other through the COVID-19 pandemic using online tools, according to a new report from Simon Fraser University (SFU). And newfound solidarity could spark interest in unionization in this often-exploited sector of workers, the study speculates. At the beginning of the pandemic, student researchers from SFU interviewed 10 Metro Vancouver food couriers who work for SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, UberEats or the now-shuttered Foodora. Researchers also analyzed posts and messages in private social media groups.

Workers are classified as independent contractors, which allows companies to evade responsibilities These food delivery drivers work in the gig economy, a growing industry of precarious and temporary jobs that lack traditional employment benefits such as sick leave and vacation time. These workers are classified as independent contractors, which allows the companies to evade the normal responsibilities of employers in B.C. According to a recent study, eight per cent of Canadian workers

engage in some form of gig work. Statistics also show that people in the bottom 40 per cent of income distribution were twice as likely to participate in the gig economy compared to other workers. None of the major food delivery companies in B.C. are unionized. Even before the pandemic, couriers were connecting in online forums about their poor working conditions — lack of support from their companies, unfair customer reviews and the pains of receiving low tips. But when the pandemic hit, researchers saw the use of these forums grow. “Forms of emotional support intensified during the spread of COVID-19, as the danger of exposure to the virus increased for couriers,” says SFU Communication Professor Enda Brophy, who oversaw the study. Couriers shared their anxieties about touching door handles, elevator buttons, and buzzer screens during deliveries in apartment buildings, says the report. “Couriers complained about customers not respecting physical distancing measures and mocked the delivery platforms for low-paying orders, joking that they were not going to risk their lives for four dollars,” the report explains. “Many of [the workers] repeatedly advised colleagues that

staying home was the best and safest form of action during a pandemic.” Despite the difficulties at their jobs, the workers interviewed didn’t know much about how a union could improve their working conditions. “When asked about unionization, some expressed the feeling it might be beneficial in some respects ... but most also felt it was unrealistic given their status as contractors, or the dispersed, individualistic nature of the workforce,” the report reads. Educating the workers on how unions work, and reaching out to them through targeted social media ads will be necessary if couriers are

to unionize, say the researchers. Some unions are looking at ways to bring the growing number of gig economy workers into the labour movement. Recently, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518 launched a campaign to organize Uber drivers as ride-hailing services sought licences in B.C. Supported by the B.C. Federation of Labour and other unions, the campaign must first convince government bodies to recognize the drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. This has been achieved in parts of the U.S. and in Toronto, where drivers for Uber Black formed a union earlier this year.


Decision affirms value of public health care FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS, the BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare have been engaged in a legal challenge to protect public health care at the B.C. Supreme Court. In September 2020, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Steeves passed a decision affirming the importance of public health care. In 2009, Dr. Brian Day, the CEO of Cambie Surgery Centre (a for-profit, private health care company), launched his attack on the public health care system by aiming to strike down key provisions of the B.C. Medicare Protection Act that restricted extra-billing (charging both patient and the public system) and the use of private insurance for medically necessary procedures. If Day had been successful, patients who could afford to pay would be able to jump the line in accessing health care.

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Evidence showed private, for-profit health care drains resources

However, Justice Steeves listened to the evidence presented by the Health Coalition and our partners that showed private, for-profit health care drains resources from the public system. In fact, Justice Steeves cited this evidence as he repeatedly made the point in his decision that a duplicative private health care system would degrade care for most people, leading to longer wait times, higher costs for worse care, and tilt the system in favour of the wealthy. The fight is not over yet. Day and Cambie Surgeries have filed an appeal of this decision, expected to begin in summer 2021. Get updates on the Cambie case at savemedicare.ca USMAN MUSHTAQ Coordinator at the BC Health Coalition


READY TO FIGHT | Workers at 49 sites across Alberta held a one-day strike in October, and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees tells the premier they’re prepared for a battle to protect public health care.

Workers protest privatization plan

Wildcat strike as Alberta plans to contract out health care, cut 11,000 public jobs FRONTLINE health care workers, activists and unions are sounding the alarm and preparing to fight as Alberta moves to try and cut 11,000 public health care jobs. The preparations included a oneday wildcat strike, which came in mid-October after Premier Jason Kenney’s Conservative government announced its intent to outsource thousands of jobs to the private sector once the pandemic is over. “The health care workers had had enough,” says Kevin Barry, vicepresident of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE). One minute they were being called heroes, he says, but the next their jobs were threatened.

Workers at 49 sites across Alberta walked off the job. Although they were ordered back to work the next day, Barry says union members sent the message to Kenney’s team that they’re “prepared to fight with them.” About half of AUPE’s 90,000 members are health care workers, says Barry, and more than twothirds of those facing possible layoffs are AUPE members. These workers include licensed practical nurses and care aides, as well as general support staff who work in areas such as laundry, food services, administration, and procurement. “We’re continuing to tell them to be ready to fight, however that looks.

They need to hold this government accountable and hold their employers accountable,” Barry said. The uproar over Kenney’s cutbacks comes as a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits Canada, and as Alberta’s case count is soaring. Kenney and his government also want to privatize governmentowned long-term care, according to the bargining proposals they presented in the spring. Specifically, Barry says they’re looking to sell two of the province’s major public care providers, Care West and Capital Care. Doing this would include additional job cuts, Barry says. This, says Barry, comes in the middle of a pandemic when Canadians are having a national conversation and re-considering the place of private care homes.

“And here we are going in the opposite direction,” he said. Kenney’s move to privatize health care jobs is similar to what happened in B.C. in the early 2000s when the BC Liberals fired nearly 10,000 frontline health care workers, the majority of whom worked in hospital housekeeping, food services and laundry. “HEU’s members faced an almost identical attack from the Gordon Campbell Liberal government nearly 20 years ago,” says HEU president Barb Nederpel. Close to 90 per cent of the socalled “non-clinical” workers that the Liberals cut were women, and many of them were racialized. “They were invited to reapply for their jobs at half the wages,” Nederpel recalls. “We’re still picking up the pieces today.”

Several resolutions were adopted, including calls for an increased investment in postsecondary education; reducing the legal voting age to 16; a pandemic pay premium for all frontline, essential and critical workers; and the HEU-submitted Resolution 162, calling on the repatriation of contracted support service workers. “We had a very emotional debate and passed an emergency resolution that was put forward by the Indigenous Workers committee after news broke about the Abbotsford teacher

asking school children to write positive things about residential schools,” said HEU president Barb Nederpel. “In a show of solidarity for systemic change, we also flooded Twitter with photos of delegates wearing orange shirts.”

NEWSBITES Labour federation adopts HEU resolution In November, the B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFED) hosted a twoday, virtual convention with more than 800 delegates from affiliated unions, including HEU representatives. President Laird Cronk and Secretary-Treasurer Sussanne Skidmore were acclaimed for a second term during the proceedings. Delegates also elected equity caucus representatives, including HEU member Heather Mandziuk to the Indigenous Workers committee.

Josh Berson PHOTO

BCFED’s virtual convention drew over 800 delegates.

Advocate calls for more visits for seniors Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie recently released a report highlighting the negative impact of COVID-19 restrictions on seniors in B.C.

Winter 2020 | GUARDIAN 11


Disturbing findings in report

SHINING A LIGHT | Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, an independent investigator and former child and youth advocate, presented her report on anti-Indigenous racism in B.C. health care at a press conference in November.

A NEW REPORT has found widespread, racism, prejudice and discrimination directed at Indigenous peoples within B.C.’s health care system. Independent investigator Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the report’s author, was commissioned by the provincial government to investigate allegations of systemic Indigenous-specific racism in health care. The move was sparked by rumours that emergency room health care workers were playing an organized game of “Price is Right”, where they guessed the blood-alcohol levels of Indigenous patients. A review team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders was assembled, and nearly 9,000

people participated in the investigative process, which resulted in 24 recommendations. “While the Price is Right allegations were unsubstantiated, the Review … examined multiple other examples of racism and discrimination experienced by Indigenous peoples in the B.C. health care system. The results are disturbing,” the report reads. “Through listening to thousands of voices – via survey results, direct submissions, health care data and interviews with Indigenous people who have been impacted by the health system, health care practitioners and leaders – a picture is presented of a B.C. health care system with widespread systemic racism against Indigenous peoples. This racism results in a

range of negative impacts, harm, and even death.” “It’s another reminder that while most of us expect our health care system to be a place of compassion, comfort and care, that is often not the experience for Indigenous peoples,” says HEU interim secretary-business manager Mike Old. Indigenous health care workers also report facing unacceptable levels of racism and discrimination on the job. “Racism is deeply ingrained in many of our institutions, including our health care system,” says Old. “We all have a responsibility to root out racist behaviour when we witness it. And we must recognize our own biases and behaviours, and address them.”

DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS Indigenous women and girls have demonstrated a greater need for health services. But due to racism and discrimination, they lack trust in the system and will often avoid discretionary services, such as primary preventative care. This leads to increased hospitalizations and less favourable outcomes. The Review revealed: • a higher need for Indigenous women to receive health care services, compared to Indigenous men and nonIndigenous peoples. • unique traumas experienced by Indigenous women, including forced sterilization, and the impacts of child welfare policies that separate and disrupt Indigenous families. • feeling unsafe accessing health care services. • extensive interaction between the health care system and Indigenous women due to their role as primary caregivers. • accessing more intimate forms of health services than Indigenous men, like reproductive health and maternal care. According to the report, there are insufficient measures in place to address the unique oppression, violence, risk and racism experienced by Indigenous women in health care in B.C.

NEWSBITES The report states visitor restrictions should be expanded in long-term care homes because

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the current policy is harming residents’ mental health and wellbeing, including a noted increase in anti-psychotic medications, mood swings and depression, and weight loss. Mackenzie recommends residents be allowed two visitors: an “essential care” person to visit regularly and for longer periods of time, and a social visitor. And she suggests those visits should be in the residents’ rooms rather than in common areas. Any changes to the number of permitted visitors has to be approved by Public Health Officer

Dr. Bonnie Henry, according to Mackenzie. Based on a five-week survey of 13,000 seniors, their families, and the general public, the report also reveals residents have more anxiety around social isolation from their loved ones than they do about contracting COVID-19. Under current restrictions, most approved visits are weekly, or less, and last under 30 minutes. Mackenzie recommends all visitors have temperature checks, practice physical distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.

Princeton to lose assisted living The only assisted living facility in Princeton is slated for major service cuts late this year, leaving some seniors with no option to remain in their community. This fall, the non-profit operators announced that after years of running the facility at a deficit, they can no longer continue without more funding from the province. Workers at Vermillion Court, along with other employees of the Princeton and District Community Services Society, voted to join HEU

Lab assistant Menuka Prasad works mostly in the emergency room, managing samples and equipment that help diagnose patients Caelie Frampton PHOTO

HEU member Rabia Mohamed spoke at the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance panel this fall.

Coping with the new normal

in 2019, and were certified into the Community Bargaining Association. Twelve HEU members face layoff in December. Vermillion Court would convert to independent living, eliminating housekeeping, meals and security. Staff, residents and their families, and members of the Princeton community are seeking solutions to continue providing assisted living for area seniors.

Call for national seniors’ care standards The COVID-19 pandemic has shone


Asian-Canadian workers say that anti-Asian bias means they’ve struggled to get promoted at work, and as activists they have to fight for recognition within the labour movement. In early November, several Asian-Canadian labour activists spoke about their experiences at work and as organizers during a panel event held by the B.C. chapter of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA). Rabia Mohamed, a dispatcher at Canadian Blood Services and a member of the HEU Ethnic Diversity Standing Committee, was one of several guests who shared their experiences of being racialized. Mohamed said that racialized people have to make their voices heard by union leaders and employers alike. “We can no longer allow ourselves to be treated differently knowing that the very foundation of this country is built on the backbones and the hardworking sweat of largely racialized immigrants.” The discussion was in honour of the ACLA’s 20th anniversary, and part of an effort to reinvigorate the grassroots group and attract new members. Organizers can be contacted at ACLAinBC@gmail.com.

Josh Berson PHOTO


As a lab assistant at Chilliwack General Hospital, Menuka (Menu) Prasad collects various samples from around the hospital, brings them back to the lab for processing, or forwards them to technicians or off-site for analysis. She also does electrocardiograms after hours and on weekends. “We work side-by-side with doctors because we’re their access to diagnostic tools,” she explains, which makes it easier for doctors to diagnose patients. “I mostly work in the emergency room (ER), and if the ER is busy, we are busy,” she says. “We have to multitask and work 10 times harder now. We can be short-staffed at times, and things can get chaotic. We have to work as a team, helping and covering for one another.” The pandemic has made entering the ER stressful. Not knowing if the patient is COVID-positive is mentally exhausting, Menu says, “but we have to shrug off our stress and fear, put on our PPE and just go for it. However, it is always on your mind.” Menu, who has been an HEU member for nine years, says the pandemic has changed her workload. With outpatients, health care staff have to clean and wipe all the surfaces after each patient leaves. Wait times are longer, and more staff are off sick. “Before COVID, if we “People can get impatient and rude,” she says. “But we are working very hard and we go the extra had a bad day, we could always get a mile to please our patients.” Menu misses some of the day-to-day support hug from someone, from her co-workers. “Before COVID, if we had a but not anymore.” bad day, we could always get a hug from someone, but not anymore. We used to get together, and I miss that,” she says. Health care workers are in this pandemic just like everyone else, Menu adds. “If we work together, we can get out of this together. Our lives have changed, and this is the new normal now.”

a national spotlight on the deplorable working and caring conditions in seniors’ care. A new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report – A Higher Standard: Setting federal standards in long-term care and continuing care – draws attention to many critical issues HEU has flagged for years. Although health care falls within provincial jurisdiction, the report calls on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to develop a universal seniors’ care system. This would require a coordi-


nated effort in which the federal government works directly with the provinces and territories

to invest significant funds that support the growing demands in long-term care. Recommendations include: equal access to care; reduced wait times for beds; implementing minimum staffing levels and hours of care per resident; better working conditions to recruit and retain trained staff, including equitable wages and benefits; developing more effective infection control strategies, such as adequate PPE; and enforcing accountability and penalties for failure to comply with the national standards. Winter 2020 | GUARDIAN 13

COFFEE BREAK Vancouver General Hospital is the largest and oldest hospital in British Columbia. It also makes up the biggest local for HEU with almost 2,000 members.

Word Jumble! Unscramble jumbles, letter to Unscramble thesethese four four jumbles, one one letter to each each to form four words. ordinary words. square, tosquare, form four ordinary






Arun Prasad is a stores attendant. Arun helps to ensure all of the hospital supplies get transported around the hospital every day.

When workers unite, we can win. Especially when we have our secret weapon! Now arrange the circled letters to form the surprise answer, as suggested by the above cartoon.

Cleo Stephens is a total care worker. In her role, she delivers mental health care to older adult patients.

Now arrange the circled letters to form the surprise answer, as suggested by the above cartoon.


Go to heu.org/coffeebreak and submit your answer online by January 15, 2021.

14 GUARDIAN | Winter Fall/Winter 20202018

Josh Berson PHOTOS

Send us your answer! We’ll mail you a prize!

Patricia Hoffman is a mental health rehabilitation worker. She works with patients who are under the age of 55 and focuses on assisting them with recovery and getting back out into the community.


50,000 members in 296 locals



After 34 years of service, HEU housekeeper Sylvia Reddekopp retired from Wrinch Memorial Hospital in August. Sylvia says she enjoyed everything about her job and will miss seeing the people, patients and elders at her local – chatting with them and doing little things for them. “Our work is valuable to the hospital and the people in its care,” says Sylvia. “I am happy new workers are there to carry on the work.” Sylvia’s co-workers describe her as always cheerful with a positive attitude. Her giggle and smile will be missed. She plans to spend more time at home with her husband and grandchildren, doing more crocheting, and maybe even some dancing. Once it is safe to travel and gather socially again, Sylvia plans to do some travelling with her husband and have a “big retirement bash” that had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Long-time activist Leah Vestergaard passed away in December. She worked at Royal Columbian Hospital for more 30 years, first as a housekeeper and then a care aide. Leah served as a vice-chair and chief shop steward for the last 10 years. Her favourite role was chief shop steward, where she could help members and keep management accountable. She was a dependable colleague, who was always willing to help in any way she could. Remembered as an amazing person, Leah was caring and selfless and contributed so much to patients and staff. Co-workers say Leah was a joy to work with and loved her job. A loving wife, mother and grandmother, Leah’s face lit up whenever she talked about her granddaughter. Leah will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her.

In October, Catherine Roberts retired after 11 years of service working as a care aide for Kelowna General Hospital. She was active in her local, serving as the chief shop steward, trustee and conductor. For the last three years, Catherine was also an EDMP steward for the Interior Health Authority. She was able to spend more time doing patient care, which she says she really enjoyed. Families appreciated the one-to-one care patients received from Catherine. “I will miss stewarding most of all, never thought of it as a position, but as a calling,” says Catherine. “I will also miss my many friends, my HEU local members and the challenges I faced in my EDMP role.” Catherine looks forward to being in her garden, bringing it back to life, and having more time to prepare for the craft and farmers’ markets this spring.

Sadly, Marcie Unger passed away in August. She worked at Peace Arch Hospital in registration, and later moved to diagnostic imaging. Marcie had a huge heart, was caring, and always willing to help. She had an amazing work ethic, and took great pride in what she did. She was a very hands-on mother, who loved her three children dearly. She chose to work a four a.m. shift so she could spend more time with her kids. Always doing things for others, Marcie would get up extra early so she could make homemade pizza to share with her co-workers. Colleagues say Marcie liked to dress well, and she always supported the various vendors in the hospital lobby. Loved by all, Marcie will be missed, mourned and remembered by all those whose lives she touched.

After 18 years, Allan Derksen retired in July from Eagle Park Health Care facility, where he worked as a health care assistant in the dementia wing. He served his local in a variety of positions, including vice-chair and shop steward. Allan also attended many HEU workshops and conferences over the past six years. Finding his job immensely rewarding, Allan tried to reach out to at least one resident per shift, to make their life a little special. He says he’ll especially miss working with the residents. Allan was fortunate to have worked with great co-workers. He recalls it as a good team, where everyone helped each other. His retirement plans include relaxing and gardening.

Patient porter Robert Williams passed away suddenly of a heart attack in November at age 56. He worked at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria for more than 35 years. Born in Ontario, Robert moved to Vancouver Island in 1975 with his family. He worked two jobs for most of his adult life, including a parttime job with the City of Victoria. Robert was also a talented athlete, who will be remembered by friends, family and colleagues as a kind person and a loyal union activist.

Equity matters

Did you know that HEU has five equity standing committees? Working with HEU’s equity officers, they provide outreach and advocacy to HEU members, and work in solidarity with other social justice groups. To learn more, call 1.800.663.5813 to speak with Equity Officers Sharryn Modder and Jennifer Efting. Ethnic Diversity • Indigenous Peoples Pink Triangle • People with Disabilities • Women


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

EDITOR Caelie Frampton MANAGING EDITOR Elaine Littmann ASSOCIATE EDITOR Brenda Whitehall GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elaine Happer PRINTING Mitchell Press The Guardian is published on behalf of HEU’s Provincial Exec­utive, under the direction of the editorial committee: Barb Nederpel, Jennifer Whiteside, Betty Valenzuela, Ken Robinson, Jodi George, Bill McMullan, Talitha Dekker HEU is a member of the Canadian Association of Labour Media PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE BARB NEDERPEL President MIKE OLD Secretary-Business Manager (Interim) BETTY VALENZUELA Financial Secretary KEN ROBINSON 1st Vice-President BILL MCMULLAN 2nd Vice-President CHRIS BATTING 3rd Vice-President TALITHA DEKKER Senior Trustee KEN BENNETT Trustee STEPHEN ARISS Trustee JOANNE WALKER Regional Vice-President Fraser KARIN VIK Regional Vice-President Fraser SCOTT McKAY Regional Vice-President Fraser RHONDA BRUCE Regional Vice-President Interior

MOVED? Please notify us of your change of address online: heu.org/change-contact-information

SHELLEY BRIDGE Regional Vice-President Interior MONICA THIESSEN Regional Vice-President Interior

BAL SANDHU Regional Vice-President Vancouver Coastal LOUELLA VINCENT Regional Vice-President Vancouver Coastal KAREN MCVEIGH Regional Vice-President Vancouver Coastal LISA CREMA Regional Vice-President North TERRESSA JAMERSON Regional Vice-President North CATHY BLACK Regional Vice-President Vancouver Island CHARLOTTE MILLINGTON Regional Vice-President Vancouver Island BARBARA RIGGS First Alternate Provincial Executive

HEU OFFICES PROVINCIAL OFFICE 5000 North Fraser Way Burnaby V5J 5M3 604-438-5000 1-800-663-5813 EMAIL heu@heu.org WEB www.heu.org REGIONAL OFFICES

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WINTER 2020 • VOL. 38 • NO. 2

CARING IN A CRISIS HEU care aides share their challenges amid COVID-19 second wave


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

Jennifer Gauthier PHOTO


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