Union pushes for seniors’ care funding

Vernon politicians are being urged to join a campaign focused on seniors’ care.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees Union wants city hall to ask the provincial government to fund increased levels of care at residential care facilities.

“Funding for these important services has not kept pace with the demand,” said Brenda Brown, a member of the union’s provincial executive.

“Without increased public funding to increase staffing for those direct care hours, many facilities are put in a position where they need to contract out care and support staff.”

Brown says there have been cases of contracting out in Vernon and she says these situations can be harmful and disruptive for seniors.

“Continuity of care is extremely important to seniors living in care facilities, and staff and clients often develop very close relationships built on care and trust,” she said.

“When care facilities contract out their staff, it affects the quality of care for seniors. And it affects health care workers who face unemployment or the prospect of doing the same work for less.”

Brown believes it is critical for the city to get involved in the campaign.

“We recognize the important role of municipal councils in advocating for a good quality of life for citizens,” she said.

“We want the city to call on the government to fully fund seniors care.”

Vernon council will discuss BCGEU’s request June 13.

“The presentation from the union was good and we will probably wind up writing letters to the government,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy.

“We need to push for more funding for facilities.”