Front-line workers talk about their jobs post-Bill 29 on day three of bargaining

Bargaining bulletin

As facilities negotiations resumed January 29, HEU and the other unions focused on the diversity of the sector’s workforce as front-line workers from across the province joined their bargaining committee at the table to tell their own stories to the employer.

Thirteen HEU members gave powerful and moving presentations about their jobs and the impact of Bill 29 on their work, their lives and the patients and residents they serve.

The workers included a cook, cleaners and a sterile supply technician, a medical transcriptionist, a bio-medical engineer and a renal technician, maintenance and power engineers, a technician assistant and a carpenter, and a cardiology tech and licensed practical nurse.

Union bargaining association spokesperson Chris Allnutt says that seeing and listening to the rank and file workers was a strong dose of reality for employers.

“Our members put faces and names to the `FTEs’ who do the work in our hospitals and long-term care facilities,” says Allnutt. “They clearly defined the diverse nature of the workforce and drove home the negative impact of the government’s agenda of contracting out, cuts and closures on health care in B.C.”

Also on day three of talks, the Health Employers Association of B.C. continued to refuse to put contracting out initiatives on hold or to provide early renewed funding for the Occupation Health and Safety Agency in Healthcare (OHSAH).

Four more dates are set for negotiations — February 5 and February 18, 19 and 20. On February 5, the union bargaining association will concentrate on employment security.

Stay in touch with bargaining through HEU’s web site at , by phoning the union’s bargaining hotline toll-free at 1-800-663-5813 extensions 1515 and 1516 or in the Lower Mainland at 604-739-1515 or 604-739-1516 and by talking with your local executive.