#3 Facilities subsector talks continue focus on reducing injuries

Bargaining bulletin

Reducing injury rates in hospitals and long-term care facilities was the main focus of contract talks covering 43,000 health services and support workers as bargaining resumed in Vancouver January 16.

The multi-union bargaining association made an impassioned and detailed presentation to support their proposal for an early renewal of funding for the jointly governed Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH).

The agency has helped reduce time lost to injuries and saved the health care system more than $50 million in injury-related costs over the last two years.

“It’s a win-win for health care workers and employers,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “The agency’s efforts have helped reduce work days lost to workplace injuries by 100,000 annually.

“But because health care workplaces remain the most dangerous in B.C., it’s critical that health employers renew their commitment so that the agency’s important work can continue uninterrupted.”

The Health Employers Association of B.C.will confirm five more dates for bargaining, put forward by the health care unions at the end of the day’s session. At that time, talks will focus on employment security — specifically, how to retain the skills and expertise of the facilities subsector’s diverse workforce.