URGENT: Important information for HSA members working in long term care
TO: HSA members working in Long Term Care
In an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in BC’s hard-hit Long Term Care facilities, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued two province-wide orders aimed at restricting movement of health care staff between Long Term Care facilities. The orders went into effect yesterday, Thursday March 26, 2020
The first Order, Long Term Care Facility Staff Movement Limitation, is a temporary measure put in place while a plan is developed to develop a central staffing office to be run by the Provincial Health Office.
The Order provides health authority medical health officers (MHO) with the power to restrict long-term care workers to work at one site. This Order also provides the MHO with the ability to make exceptions in order to ensure safe staffing levels. Exceptions include dietitians and pharmacists, but may be expanded.
Significantly, this Order also prohibits long-term care operators from terminating or penalizing staff, and provides for the continuation of benefits should staff be directed to work for another operator.
It’s expected that all sites in the province will be impacted by the single-worksite designation within days.
A second Order, Information Collection to Allocate Staff WORKING IN FACILITIES directs employers and operators across long-term care, assisted living, and mental health facilities to provide detailed employee information by March 28. This information will be used to centrally allocate staff to single sites while ensuring that no site is left short-staffed.
HSA will be working with other unions and employers daily to establish protocols and procedures to assist members to comply with the orders, and to protect your collective agreement rights.
Moving to a centralized staffing registry is a monumental shift that will be done in a very compressed timeframe, and your cooperation in providing the necessary information will help with this work. Details on the process will be coming shortly.
Thank you for your tireless work and commitment to your patients and residents in a time of such crisis.
Please watch your email inbox and the HSA website at www.hsabc.org for changing information. If you know HSA members who aren’t getting information from the union, please forward this email, and ask them to send their up-to-date personal email address to @email
If you have any questions or concerns, you can get in touch with HSA labour relations specialists through the COVID-19 hotline at @email. The hotline is staffed seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.