People accessing health care in Vancouver will benefit from more consistent, dedicated and supportive patient care as 309 housekeeping workers return to the public system as Providence Health Care (PHC) employees.
The change comes after almost 20 years of these workers’ services contracted to private companies.
“Restoring stable, well-paying jobs to our health-care workers by bringing them back in house is an important step forward in delivering on our government’s commitment to building a stronger health-care system for B.C.,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Once again, I commend Providence Health Care on their ongoing efforts under Bill 47, which will benefit workers, improve staff retention and result in better patient care for British Columbians.”
309 housekeeping workers repatriated
Health authorities and Providence Health Care continue to repatriate workers under Bill 47, bringing an estimated 4,000 workers back into the public system.
On Oct. 14, 2022, 309 housekeeping workers will be repatriated at the following PHC sites:
- St. Paul’s Hospital: 199 housekeeping workers
- Mount Saint Joseph Hospital: 49 housekeeping workers
- Youville Residence: 13 housekeeping workers
- St. Vincent’s: Langara: 16 housekeeping workers
- Holy Family Hospital: 14 housekeeping workers
- St. John Hospice Providence: five housekeeping workers
- St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni: 13 housekeeping workers
“Health-care service workers work so hard to take care of patients across our province every day, and by bringing them back to the public system, we are taking care of them,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long Term Care. “I am so thrilled to hear that 309 more workers will now benefit from stable jobs and fair wages as Providence Health Care welcomes them back as employees. This is great news for workers, patients and British Columbians.”
“Providence Health Care values the close partnerships that we have built over the years with our housekeeping staff, and we are pleased to welcome workers and services back into Providence,” said Providence Health Care’s President and CEO Fiona Dalton. “Housekeeping workers are critical to the running of our facilities, and are fundamental in improving the health, safety and wellness of everyone within our walls – the patients, residents and families who we serve, and those who work here. On behalf of everyone at Providence, we thank housekeeping staff for their dedication to this essential and life-saving work of keeping the hospitals, care homes, clinics and hospice within PHC clean.”
Work began in 2019 with Bill 47
To address inequality and enhance working conditions for employees in health-care facilities, government is ensuring that workers have the benefits, wages and working conditions they deserve to be able to help patients. Evidence has shown that employees who feel secure and safe in their jobs provide higher quality care for people, and employers can attract and retain staff at a higher and more consistent level.
Following the initial announcement on Aug. 30, 2021, health authorities and Providence Health Care served notice under the terms of 21 commercial service contracts, and began a phased approach to repatriate housekeeping and food service contracts, beginning with Island Health.
Work to bring health-care service workers back into the public system began in 2019 when the Province brought Bill 47 (Health Sector Statutes Repeal Act) into force. Bill 47 repealed the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act (Bill 29) and the Health Sector Partnerships Agreement Act (Bill 94), which had facilitated contracting out in the health sector causing significant labour impacts.
In 2020, the process was started with the North Island Hospitals, which spearheaded the move independently of Bill 47 to bring 150 contracted workers in-house at the Campbell River and Comox Valley hospitals.
Read the full BC Government news release here.