VICTORIA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) responded today to the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s ruling that last year’s Hospital Employees Union (HEU) strike was in fact illegal and that patients can now proceed with a class action certification hearing against the union.
“This ruling is a victory for patients. During last year’s four day illegal strike, over 25,000 surgeries and procedures were cancelled, delaying treatment and causing unnecessary emotional, physical and economic harm to patients,” said Sara MacIntyre, BC director for the CTF.
Following last year’s strike, the CTF helped impacted patients organize a class action suit against the HEU. In order to proceed, patients had to obtain a declaration from the Labour Relations Board that the HEU’s actions were in fact illegal. After getting the declaration, the HEU appealed the finding to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Kelleher dismissed the HEU”s appeal on all grounds. Patients have already filed a Writ of Summons under The Class Proceedings Act and are now be able to proceed with a certification hearing.
“The class action suit is really about reminding the HEU that illegal strike actions have consequences on patients. Using people’s access to health care as bullying tactic is not acceptable and the HEU should be held responsible for its actions. All too often public sector unions use their monopoly control over vital services to demand more from taxpayers and this time the union went too far,” concluded MacIntyre.