Compass rejects mediator’s recommendations for workers at Normanna, Evergreen

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Compass Group has rejected a BC Labour Board mediator’s recommendations for a first collective agreement with 60 HEU members working at Normanna and Evergreen care homes in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland.

In two votes held on May 8 and 9, 2006 members voted 100 per cent to ratify the terms for settlement recommended by mediator Brian Foley.

Contract talks, which began eleven months ago in June 2005, broke down last fall. Early in the new year members at both facilities gave the union unanimous strike mandates, but subsequently agreed to mediation under Section 55 of BC’s Labour Relations Code.

“Compass’ continued refusal to negotiate fairly, or accept an outside mediator’s recommendations for settlement, is patently unreasonable,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

“It shows a callous disregard for our members’ work, the challenges they face and the needs of the seniors in their care.

“Our members have been without a contract for well over a year. It’s time for Compass to stop stalling, step up to the plate, and negotiate a fair first contract with their workers, just as their corporate competitors have done,” says Darcy.

HEU has settled several contracts in recent months with Compass’ competitors Aramark and Sodexho.

Compass has until May 20, 2006 to list any specific items they do not accept. The mediator will then convene an arbitration hearing and make a final, binding decision.

The majority of Compass workers at Normanna and Evergreen, who deliver dietary, housekeeping and laundry services, are paid between $9.69 and $10 an hour.