Arbitrator appointed to assist in Compass/PHSA first contract talks

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The Labour Relations Board has asked arbitrator Don Munroe to help the Hospital Employees' Union and Compass Group reach a first collective agreement for workers in the Provincial Health Services Authority.

His appointment is the result of an application made by HEU under Section 55 of B.C."s Labour Code - a provision that’s intended to help unions and employers reach first contracts through a mediation/arbitration process.

The application was made shortly after Compass members at PHSA delivered a 99 per cent strike mandate in July.

Earlier this fall, an LRB mediator failed to bring the parties to an agreement.

HEU and Compass will both give Munroe written proposals on the terms of a new collective agreement by mid-November.

HEU’s PHSA bargaining committee meets October 21 to finalize the union’s proposal.

In the meantime, the process to set essential services levels has begun.

"It has taken a long time for us to get Compass to a process that will lead to a collective agreement,” says HEU’s bargaining spokesperson Heather Compton.

“But with the Section 55 process finally underway, it will be more difficult for Compass to stall negotiations.”

Compton says that Compass workers on Vancouver Island will soon be in a similar position after voting 96 per cent in favour of strike action in mid-October.

For more information, please contact a member of your bargaining committee or Heather Compton at 604-438-5000.