Talks covering 46,000 health care workers are tentatively scheduled to resume in mid-June.
This past week, negotiators for the Health Employers Association of B.C. put forward more proposals related to government’s integration of the BC Ambulance Service into the health sector. Specifically, they focused on the terms and conditions for BCAS administrative staff.
Facilities bargaining began on February 7, but as is the case at most other tables in the public sector, progress towards an agreement has been slow.
Bonnie Pearson, spokesperson for the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association, says that employers have added an unnecessary level of complexity to the bargaining table with their focus on integrating BCAS collective agreements in to the Facilities agreement.
“We’ve been very patient with health employers and government on this score, but they simply can’t continue to avoid substantive negotiations on core issues that we have identified,” says Pearson.
The collective agreement covers a diverse health care team that includes workers in hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic treatment centres as well as emergency health services and shared services such as logistics and supply operations.
HEU represents about 85 per cent of health care workers in the FBA. Another 14 per cent are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 873, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 882/882H. Eight other unions in the association represent one per cent of workers covered by the talks.