Back in June, Campbell administration - in partnership with the province's private care providers - launched an initiative encouraging students to become residential care aides and home support workers in the Fraser Health Region. One of the incentives: a "solid salary" in an industry where "hourly rates range between $17.68 and $19.33 per hour" according to the BC Cares Website - but not the Hospital Employees' Union. On Tuesday, the union distributed a news release stating, "contracting out has pushed wages much lower than this in many long-term care facilities. In fact, approximately 700 care aides at six of these facilities are currently facing termination after attempting to bring their wages up to levels promised on the website. At Inglewood Care Centre, for example, care aides will be laid off on September 30 after joining a union and achieving a first collective agreement that increased current wages to $16.55." Oops. Which is why the Website's text now reads: "As of July 2007, hourly rates reached a maximum of $19.33 per hour." Explained health communications director Marisa Adair, "There was an error in what was up there. And we corrected it."
August 3, 2007