HR Resources Database

HR Resources Database November -0001

B.C. changes health laws after ruling on bargaining rights

Abstract

The B.C. government has changed some laws related to health-care unions in the wake of a court ruling on the privatization of thousands of jobs in the health sector.
The government was forced to negotiate with the unions after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down parts of Bill 29 last year.

Bill 29 stripped rights from union agreements and allowed a massive round of contracting out.

As part of its agreement with unions, the government promised to provide $85 million in compensation and retraining and to order health employers to consult with unions before there is any new contracting out.

The Hospital Employees' Union claimed the legislation, imposed six years ago, caused the loss of 9,000 workers' jobs.

"Bill 29's legacy has been the dismantling of the health-care team, the loss of public control over many critical health services, and economic hardship for thousands of working families," union president Judy Darcy said in a prepared statement Monday.

The B.C. government is also eliminating ambulance fees for people on welfare and allowing the disclosure of health-related information from investigations conducted by the Medical Services Commission.

The information could be used to permit prosecution of Medical Services Plan fraud cases.

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