500 Permanent Job Losses Predicted After Home Care Flip

Multiple positions not covered under massive staff expropriation from private sector to government

Burnaby, B.C. (March 15, 2019): During an emergency call conducted Thursday between B.C.’s six largest publicly-funded home care providers and the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA), it was determined that there will be a loss of an estimated 500 full-time jobs as a result of the B.C. Health Ministry’s plan to expropriate over 4,000 staff from non-government providers.

The employees slated to be laid off include long-time managers and team members working as schedulers, as human resources professionals, in benefits management, payroll, billing, information technology, and administrative positions not covered by the transition to government-run jobs with the health authorities. These positions are located in the Metro Vancouver region.

“When we first learned of the decision to expropriate staff from non-government home care operators into the health authorities we were led to believe by government that there would be zero job losses, and the transition will be ‘seamless’,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “Now we know this is not true. Furthermore, these unnecessary disruptions will only exacerbate the staffing crisis in our sector, and it will be B.C.’s seniors that will be impacted.”

Unlike with unionized frontline care workers, there is currently no legislation requiring that any of these support staff must be transferred into the health authorities.

“Labour leaders and the BC NDP have been decrying so-called contract flipping for years,” says Fontaine. “What is this but the biggest contract flip in the history of B.C. healthcare when you shift over 4,000 employees from multiple employers to other ones?

“500 workers and the family members they support were apparently not factored into the Health Minister’s massive expropriation plan.”

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The significant costs to care providers for severance are still being calculated, but they will be borne by the current employers and not picked up by government. The cost to health authorities to on-board thousands of new employees is an expense that B.C. taxpayers will have to cover.

One major Canadian publicly-traded healthcare company affected by the government’s decision – Extendicare – issued a release on Thursday that they are ceasing all operations in British Columbia at the secession of their contract.

“As anticipated, healthcare innovators like Extendicare will no longer see B.C. as a good place to do business,” adds Fontaine. “We are only beginning to see the unintended consequences of this ill-considered plan by government.”

Wednesday’s announcement of the expropriation of over 4,000 staff from non-government home care providers into government-run health authorities came after zero consultation with the sector.

BC Care Providers are calling upon the Premier of British Columbia, and BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver to issue a pause on this program until a fulsome consultation takes place with affected stakeholders including seniors and care providers.

*An earlier version of this post erroneously reported that the layoffs would include Vancouver Island employees.

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MEDIA CONTACT
Rumana D’Souza
rumana@bccare.ca

About BC Care Providers Association

Established in 1977, the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is the leading voice for B.C.’s continuing care sector. Our growing membership base includes over 340 long-term care, assisted living, home care, home support, and commercial members from across British Columbia.