The multi-union Community Bargaining Association (CBA) has reached a tentative collective agreement with the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC).
The two-year proposed contract covers more than 14,000 community health workers – including 1,500 HEU members – and comes after one year of difficult negotiations, led by the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union. The tentative agreement achieves CBA members’ key bargaining priorities, including an across-the-board wage increase while protecting health and welfare benefits.
Highlights of the 2012-2014 tentative contract include:
- a three per cent (3%) wage increase for all employees: (2% upon ratification and 1% on April 1, 2013)
- improved scheduling provisions
- improved grievance arbitration language
- respectful workplace provisions
- improved selection criteria provisions
- elimination of a double probationary period for casuals
- protection for casuals in the event of retendering
Last week, mediator Debbie Cameron was able to narrow the differences and bring the parties closer together.
In order to achieve a fair contract, CBA members gave their bargaining committee an 86 per cent strike mandate in October 2012, and began rotating job action across the province in November.
The multi-union bargaining committee recommends acceptance of the proposed settlement.
Community health workers have been without a contract since March 31, 2012 and are among the lowest paid in the public sector. They provide home-based, medically related support services to seniors and persons with disabilities. Workers in the sector also provide community-based health services, including mental health and addictions services and administrative support, to home support agencies and health authorities.
Other unions at the CBA table include UFCW, CUPE, HSA and USWA.