Arbitrator awards first contract for members at Compass/VIHA

Wage parity with Sodexho and Aramark by September 2008
Bargaining bulletin

Printer Friendly Version

Labour Relations Board-appointed mediator/arbitrator Stan Lanyon has awarded the terms of a first collective agreement between HEU and Compass Group covering more than 700 members working at a number of Vancouver Island Health Authority hospitals and extended care facilities.

The three-year collective agreement expires September 30, 2008 at which time wages will be on par with those contained in HEU agreements with Aramark and Sodexho.

Most key provisions are similar to those contained in an arbitrated collective agreement between HEU and Compass Group for workers in the Provincial Health Services Authority that was issued last December.

HEU was certified as the bargaining agent for Compass members on Vancouver Island in December 2005. After months of slow progress at the bargaining table, members gave their bargaining committee a 96 per cent strike mandate last October.

The LRB appointed Lanyon as the mediator/arbitrator in December.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that the collective agreement will provide the basis for strengthening members’ rights in the workplace through a strong system of shop stewards, active health and safety committees and a solid local union.

“This is a proud moment for workers who have overcome years of stonewalling and intimidation from a powerful global corporation determined to deny them the most basic union rights,” says Darcy.

For most workers, the hourly wage will rise from $10.51 an hour to $12 an hour retroactive to September 18, 2006. The hourly rate increases to $12.59 an hour on September 18, 2007; and to $13.05 an hour on September 18, 2008.

That’s a total increase of 24 per cent over the term of the agreement including a retroactive wage increase of 14 per cent on hours worked since September 18, 2006.

Wages for other classifications will also see hourly wages rise to between $13.65 and $17.92 by September 2008.

The new agreement:

  • maintains the current health and welfare benefit package;
  • improves sick leave to six days every year, effective January 15, 2007 – up from the current provisions of two days every six months;
  • improves seniority – it’s now accumulated based on hours worked not on the employee’s start date with the company;
  • improves harassment protection and access to training and job posting language, and
  • covers transportation-related costs for workers who are reassigned to another work area after reporting for their shift.

Although there is no merged seniority list between Compass’ Morrison and Crothall brands, Lanyon does recognize the union’s shop steward structure. That means, for example, that a Morrison manager must recognize an HEU steward from housekeeping who may be representing a food service worker.

With this agreement, HEU now has collective agreements with Sodexho, Aramark and Compass covering more than 3,700 cleaning and dietary staff in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

Information meetings to review the terms of settlement will be scheduled over the next few weeks.

The award containing the terms of the first collective agreement is available on the union website – www.heu.org – in the bargaining section under Compass-VIHA.

For more information, contact a member of your union bargaining committee.