#17 Facilities compensation offer expected Thursday

Bargaining bulletin

Health employers are expected to table a compensation offer for 46,000 facilities health workers when bargaining resumes Thursday. But HEU’s chief bargainer says the failure of health employers to table a compensation package for 15,000 community health workers at the same time is “insulting.”

“Community and facilities health workers have been bargaining together for the last eight weeks,” says secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“Today, HEABC should be tabling a compensation offer for all health workers. The fact that they will not is further evidence that health care bosses are continuing to treat community caregivers as second class health workers.”

The unions tabled their compensation proposal more than a month ago. It includes a $1 an hour flat dollar general wage increase applied across-the-board in year one and a five per cent increase in year two.

The proposal also calls for a cost of living allowance in both years to protect wages against inflation and improvements to the extended health and dental plans.

HEU says premium pay — such as on-call and shift premiums — should be linked to developments at the RN and paramedical professionals bargaining tables. “A fair wage increase is just one element of a series of proposals our union has made that will strengthen health care,” says Allnutt.

“But it is an important element. We need a compensation package in place that will retain and attract skilled and experienced health care workers.”

On Tuesday evening, the B.C. premier also threw his support behind a fair compensation package. Addressing the province in a special half hour TV program, Ujjal Dosanjh said that his vision for renewing health care included “competitive compensation and working conditions for all health care providers, from care aides to specialists.”