Vancouver Coastal Health welcomes back 526 hospital food-service workers

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People accessing health care in the Lower Mainland will benefit from more stable, consistent and supportive patient care as 526 food-service workers return to the public system as Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) employees.

This comes after almost 20 years of these workers having their services contracted out to private companies.

“Health-care service workers are an integral part of our health-care system, and the decision to contract their services out has had devastating impacts,” said Adrian Dix, Health Minister. “That’s why our government brought in the legislation under Bill 47 to bring health-service workers back to the public system to ensure that workers get a livable wage and better working conditions, and patients in B.C. receive better care.”

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 Sept. 2, 2022, a total of 526 food-service workers in the Vancouver and Richmond Communities of Care in VCH will be repatriated at the following sites:

  • Vancouver General Hospital: 251
  • Banfield Pavilion: one
  • UBC Hospital and Purdy Pavilion: 81
  • GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre: 21
  • George Pearson Centre: 23
  • Dogwood Lodge: 15
  • Richmond General Hospital: 74
  • Minoru Residence: 40
  • Richmond Lions Manor: 19
  • Bridge House: one

“High-quality patient care is at the core of our vision for the health-care system in B.C.,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long Term Care. “Bettering patient care starts with making sure that our health-care workers feel secure and supported in their careers, and receive equitable compensation for the incredible work they do every day.”

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 that 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 in turn, 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.

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 and caused significant labour impacts.

In 2020, the process began with North Island Hospitals, which spearheaded the move independently of Bill 47 to bring 150 contracted-out workers in-house at North Island Campus Campbell River and Comox Valley hospitals.

Learn More:

Learn more about Bill 47:

For the Aug. 30, 2021, announcement on Bill 47: