Bear Creek members have a new collective agreement

Bargaining bulletin

The 55 HEU members at Bear Creek Lodge, a private, for-profit multi-level seniors’ care facility in Surrey, have voted more than 70 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement after rejecting an earlier tentative deal that failed to address concerns over the length of the contract, wages and seniority during job action.

The new settlement addresses these three issues as well as retaining the improvements agreed to previously in the areas of temporary jobs, responsibility pay for registered nurses, night nurse pay, scheduling of care aides’ shifts and benefit improvements.

The contract is effective March 25, 2000 and now expires Sept. 25, 2003, six months earlier than the rejected deal. And the employer has committed to making themselves available to begin the next round of bargaining no later than September, 2003.

“This round of bargaining marks a great struggle by the HEU Bear Creek Lodge members,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “They voted 100 per cent in favour of job action in April, took to a picket line in May and have fought long and hard since then for this contract.”

Allnutt said negotiations were particularly challenging because the employer didn’t even come to the table until September 2000, five months after the old contract had expired.

“The members are to be congratulated. They stood together and stayed strong throughout a very difficult and protracted round of bargaining,” says Allnutt.