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Pacific Blue Cross board candidates aim to take PBC back to its progressive roots

Pacific Blue Cross board candidates aim to take PBC back to its progressive roots

VANCOUVER—Seven candidates running on a slate for the Pacific Blue Cross Board of Directors are all committed to returning the company to its roots as a progressive, non-profit extended health benefits provider that respects both plan members and employees.

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“Pacific Blue Cross needs new leadership that is in step with the B.C. labour movement’s values,” said MoveUp Vice President Alicia Gallo, one of seven progressive candidates standing for election at the AGM. “Our team has the experience to stand up for the millions of workers and their families that depend on PBC extended health coverage.”

Pacific Blue Cross will hold its Annual General Meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13 at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Because of the current board’s treatment of the company’s 600 employees—including its agreement to lock out those workers for two months this year—the race for the seven spots up for election has become hotly contested.

Along with Gallo, the other candidates on the team are BC Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Aaron Ekman, Royal Columbia Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Sandra Jenneson, St. Paul’s Hospital general internal medicine specialist Dr. Stéphane Voyer, Hospital Employees’ Union pensions and benefits director Brendan Dick, UNIFOR Local 2200 President Joe Elworthy, and past B.C. Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker.

The team of seven B.C Labour movement supporting candidates has endorsed a plan that includes commitments to:

  1. Improve coverage and benefits available for plan members.
  2. Value employees who work every day on behalf of members and their families.
  3. Stop the erosion of extended health and dental benefits for retirees.
  4. Make sure new executive leadership is installed that improves labour/management culture and restores PBC’s status as a good employer.
  5. Work with unions and community organizations to deliver high quality service to workers who depend on PBC coverage.
  6. Bring transparent leadership that makes sure beneficiaries have a voice in the future of PBC.
  7. Re-establish a relationship with community and labour partners, attract new clients and encourage others to come back to PBC.
  8. Restore the Service Delivery Contracts to the high levels that clients expect and deserve.
  9. Propose innovative concepts and ideas to grow the organization and protect plan holders.
  10. Perform the fiduciary duties of the director’s role in a fair, efficient, and prudent manner.

Registration for the AGM begins at 3 p.m. on December 13 at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. Food will be provided at the hotel, so Pacific Blue Cross members can go directly to the meeting after work without having to stop for dinner.

Shuttle busses will be running continuously from Waterfront SkyTrain Station and SeaBus Terminal to the AGM from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be free parking available at the PNE, with busses transporting voters to the meeting. Following the meeting, voters will be returned to their point of pickup. To arrange transportation, please contact Tina Meadows via e-mail at: tmeadows@cupe.ca.

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