After a week back at the bargaining table, negotiations continue to move slowly as the multi-union Facilities Bargaining Association remains committed to achieving a fair, negotiated collective agreement for the sector’s 46,000 health care workers across the province.
FBA spokesperson Bonnie Pearson says that while the unions remain at the bargaining table, progress is painstakingly slow with little to show for all the time and energy that is being put into talks.
“Health employers and government continue to maintain that the cooperative gains mandate has to be applied differently in health and this is a significant hurdle to concluding a fair and reasonable contract,” says Pearson.
“There are major issues still to be resolved and despite settlements in other areas of the public sector, an agreement continues to elude these parties.”
Talks resumed with the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) on November 14 for the first time since FBA union members voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action earlier this month. On November 19, health science professionals gave their bargaining association a 90 per cent strike mandate.
Pearson says that the overwhelming strike mandates send a strong message to HEABC and government that health care workers are determined to conclude negotiated collective agreements similar to those already reached with other public sector workers.