LETTER - Admission of Campbell’s health care destruction better late than never

LETTER – Admission of Campbell’s health care destruction better late than never

Dear editor,

I was amazed to read Tom Fletcher’s Nov. 13 column (Senior home worker discrimination finally ending), where he finally admits that the Gordon Campbell BC Liberal government was wrong to legislate Bills 29 and 94.

Campbell was incensed that Glen Clark became premier, with union support, and when he became premier, he launched a vindictive attack using the powers of the state to support his vendetta.

Over 5,000 health care workers were unjustifiably laid off, many of them in acute care as well, and then had to attend job fairs with private contractors to reapply for their jobs, at much lower wages and benefits. These folks provided excellent service to the public as part of the integrated multi-disciplinary nursing care team. Bill 29 fractured the team and destroyed the direct reporting relationship of these workers to the health care employer.

The result was that staff had to call the contractor’s call centre for assistance, whereas before they could just talk directly to their co-worker. Families were relegated to unemployment and/or financial hardship due to expenses based on their previous earnings, and many had to work two or more jobs to survive. Emotionally this was devastating.

The BC Liberals’ agenda did not improve service to the public and did not save money – it only transferred tax dollars to multi-national companies and took funds out of the province.

Thanks to Health Minister Adrian Dix and his NDP colleagues, the repeal of Bills 29 and 94 will mean that current and future health care workers can work with dignity and respect to provide seamless care to patients and residents.

Fred Muzin,